Second reading of cannabis bill stalled as large numbers of MPs skip meeting
The House of Secretariat on Thursday released figures that showed MPs of Pheu Thai, Palang Pracharath and Democrat parties topped the list of those skipping a meeting on Wednesday, leading to disruption in the second reading of the cannabis bill.
The meeting on Wednesday on the second reading of the marijuana and hemp bill lasted for only 22 minutes and was adjourned because there were only 203 MPs present, less than the quorum.
The bill has been proposed by the Public Health Ministry, controlled by the Bhumjaithai Party, but both the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties are opposed to it.
On Thursday, the House Secretariat disclosed that 86 out of 121 Pheu Thai MPs were absent from the meeting and the missing MPs constituted 71.07% of the party’s lawmakers.
Those missing included party leader Cholnan Srikaew, party secretary-general Prasert Chanruangthong and deputy party leader Sutin Klungsang.
The House Secretariat said 35 out of 79 PPRP MPs, or 44.3%, were absent from the meeting. They included chief coalition whip Nirote Sunthornlekha, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat, Education Minister Trinuch Thienthong, and Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
A total of 32 out of 50 Democrat MPs, or 64%, were absent from the meeting. They included party leader Jurin Laksanawisit and Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutacha.
Twenty-two out of 45 Move Forward Party MPs, or 48.88%, were absent, including party leader Pita Limjaroenrat.
Six or half of 12 Chart Thai Pattana Party were absent, including party leader and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa.
Even nine of 62 Bhumjaithai Party MPs were absent. Ironically, party leader Anutin, who was supposed to push for the bill, was absent.
Other parties whose MPs were absent included Settakij Thai (7 out of 11 missing), and Seri Ruam Thai (5 out of 10 missing). MPs of most micro parties also skipped the meeting, including the Chart Pattana Kla Party.