Thursday, April 09, 2020

Opposition coalition MPs ready for budget debate

Oct 07. 2019
Sompong Amornvivat
Sompong Amornvivat
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By THE NATION

Sompong Amornvivat, leader of the Pheu Thai party and opposition coalition, said on Monday that the opposition will not support the government’s proposed spending budget for 2020 when it comes up for consideration in the House of Representatives on October 17.

“We will remain silent, showing neither support nor objection,” he said. “From my 30 years of experience as an MP, there is not one case in which opposition MPs have to show their support to the government by raising their hands.”

Sompong explained that the green light for the government’s spending budget does not require all 500 MPs to agree, unlike the appointment of a constitution amendment committee, which needs unanimous support. “The fact that opposition MPs will not raise their hands will not cause the House to reject the proposed budget,” he said.

“Personally, I don’t want the budget draft to get rejected as economic stimulus measures and construction of public infrastructure would then come to a stop and people would suffer the consequences,” said the opposition leader. “However, I do not fully agree with the government tending to focus spending on defence more than the economy. For example, buying submarines is not smart spending since we are not at war with anyone.”

Sompong added that the opposition coalition has finished appointing MPs for the budget debate on topics including society, agriculture, and politics.

“However, I don’t think the allotted time of two days would be enough, so we may need to ask for an extra day of debate,” he said. “We have prepared to inquire about the source of each budget and hope that the government will clarify the details to the public.”

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