Wissanu, the government’s legal expert, was speaking to press at Government House on Friday after the opposition threatened to reject the bill.
He said that if the budget is voted down, tradition demands that the PM must either step down or dissolve Parliament and call an election. He added that he was only answering questions and did not intend to send any signals.
Wissanu cited Plaek Phibunsongkhram’s resignation as prime minister after his capital relocation bill failed and also Prem Tinsulanonda’s dissolution of Parliament after it rejected a tax bill.
If the current budget bill fails to pass, the government will have to use the 2022 budget until October 1, but no new spending on projects will be permitted.
Wissanu said that if the prime minister resigned, the entire Cabinet would have to be changed.
He added that if nothing changed in the House of Representatives, then repeated attempts to pass the bill would fail, so it might be better to dissolve Parliament.
Wissanu explained that if the bill does not pass, it would mean the government was not trusted to manage the country and so must resign. However, he noted that the Budget Bill had not been rejected before.
He said the PM’s resignation or Parliament’s dissolution would also affect two pending election laws due to be discussed in Parliament. The next election general is expected no later than early next year, but failure to pass the two laws could trigger a constitutional crisis.
However, Wisannu said the government still believed the Budget Bill would pass.
He declined to say whether he himself was confident the bill would pass, saying he did not have the right to vote.
Published : May 28, 2022
By : THE NATION