Saturday, November 28, 2020

Prayut, Wissanu explain why choosing a new premier can be a hassle

Oct 27. 2020
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By THE NATION

During the Parliament’s extraordinary session on Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the third reading of the charter amendment should be completed by December and that the Cabinet will propose a bill on national referendum to Parliament next week.

As for opposition leader Sompong Amorvivat’s demand that the premier step down to end political turmoil and “take responsibility for his failures”, Prayut said that according to Article 167 of the Constitution, the entire Cabinet will have to quit if he steps down.

“The current Cabinet will need to continue working until a new PM is elected and a new Cabinet is formed,” he said. “I’m not sure if that is what you all want.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said if Prayut were to resign now, then his successor will have to be selected based on regulations stipulated in the current version of the Constitution, not the amended one.

Wissanu Krea-ngam

“However, the list of PM candidates will only contain five names if Prayut and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s names are removed, due to the latter being banned from politics for 10 years by the Constitutional Court,” he said.

“This means the next PM candidate must receive a majority vote from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, or more than 366 of 732 votes.

“However, with people demanding that senators be stopped from voting, then that means all 366 votes must come from MPs alone, which will be tough to achieve and may eventually land us in a dead end,” Wissanu said.

“Some may suggest that Palang Pracharat MPs should all vote for someone else within the coalition and this will ensure the 366 votes required for the choice of a new PM. However, though this is doable, we have to also consider each MP’s right to choose, especially since some want Prayut to continue as prime minister.”

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