Opposition leader calls Prayut ‘enemy of democracy’ leading sick govt
The opposition leader lambasted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for leading an ailing government that has done more harm than good to the country, as the censure debate kicked off on Tuesday.
Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew referred to the Prayut government using the “608” term coined by the Public Health Ministry to describe groups vulnerable to Covid-19.
The no-confidence debate against Prayut and 10 other ministers opened in Parliament at 9.41am.
Cholnan said Prayut regularly erred in governing the country and lacked wisdom, knowledge, efficiency, responsibility and leadership.
“He is a handicapped leader who clings on to power. He doesn’t respect the rule of law, lacks ethics and morality and has made severe mistakes on all fronts of the country’s administration,” the opposition leader said in his opening speech.
Cholnan also alleged that Prayut had turned a blind eye to alleged corruption by his affiliates.
He said during the past eight years of Prayut’s rule – four years as post-coup leader and four years as head of the elected government – the prime minister had aggravated the grievances of the people.
“He used mechanisms to perpetuate power with a goal of wiping out political enemies and opponents,” Cholnan said.
“If he was politically mature, he would have admitted that all the damage to the country during the past eight years was caused by himself alone,” he added.
The Pheu Thai leader said the opposition regarded coalition partners as pillars supporting the Prayut government, so the censure debate would also aim at removing the heads of coalition parties to destroy the pillars.
“Since the coalition partners are expected to continue to serve as the pillars by refraining from casting a vote of no-confidence against Prayut, we must destroy the heads of the pillars to remove the Prayut government from office.”
He said the opposition would do its best in performing its duty to the public over the next four days of debate.
Cholnan said the government had failed to generate more income for the country but Prayut had appointed himself as chief of the economic team because “he is addicted to power”.
“I’ve visited the people out there and they call the Prayut government the ‘608 administration’ which is severely ill. So, should we allow this kind of government to continue to run the country?” Cholnan asked.
He said the government had ruined the country’s economy and almost maximised public debt every year, thus risking the financial status of the country.
Cholnan also alleged that the 2023 budget had been directed towards provinces of certain Cabinet members to shore up their popularity ahead of the general election next year.
He went on to say that Prayut had violated democracy by abusing his power to interfere in Parliament’s deliberation of MPs election bill. He alleged that Prayut had ordered coalition MPs to vote for the party-list calculation that favours micro-parties over fear that his political rivals would win a landslide victory in the election.
“The most shameful thing was the order from Government House to adopt the divide-by-500 formula [instead of by 100],” Cholnan said.
“The opposition may not win the censure showdown in terms of votes in the House, but the power belongs to the people. If the prime minister is not toppled in the House, he will fall in the election. So, you [Prayut] should not stay as the ‘608’ leader of a government that continues to destroy the country,” he concluded.