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Jatuporn stirs anger in house over motion

A sitting of House MPs was adjourned yesterday after an opposition MP proposed an urgent motion to discuss remarks made by the Privy Council President.

The dispute had looked set to start another physical fight among MPs.

Deputy House Speaker Samart Kaewmeechai allowed Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Promphan to propose an urgent matter described as "interference in Thai democracy".

Jatuporn wanted to refer to Privy Council president General Prem Tinsulanonda's remarks in reaction to General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh joining Pheu Thai Party.

He did not mention Prem directly but introduced his motion that there was an interview to defame Pheu Thai Party.

Democrat MPs opposed Jatuporn's presentation of the motion, saying his reference to an 'outsider' could be against meeting regulations.

Bangkok MP Thana Cheeravinij said that instead of proposing a debate in Parliament, Jatuporn's party or Chavalit should have filed a legal case if they felt "damaged" by Prem's remarks.

Prem responded publicly last week to remarks by Chavalit. He said he simply advised his former confidant to "form a decision with prudence" on whether to join Pheu Thai, "otherwise he may be seen as a traitor."

Jatuporn said what happened proved a charismatic person had unconstitutionally caused a House motion to be dropped. He said the Democrats should not "abuse" their majority to force an opposition motion to be dropped.

Democrat Watchara Petchthong asked Jatuporn whether his mother had told him not to refer Prem.

Jatuporn said his parents should not be mentioned unfairly in the House.

"This is Parliament, if MPs can't do anything because they are not in the majority, that will cause problems. In a political fight, don't drag my mother into being involved unless you know what the truth is," he said.

In reaction to a comment by Democrat MP Apichart Supapang, Jatuporn dared Apichart to approach for a fight with support of Pheu Thai MP Somkid Bantaisong.

In May, Democrat MP Pramual Aimpia tried to punch and kick Somkid after a quarrel over the quorum of a meeting.

The session was adjourned for a 10- minute break. But after an hour of Jatuporn defending his motion amid boos and protests by the Democrats, Deputy House Speaker Samart Kaewmeechai, who gave Jatuporn chances to put and clarify the motion but later asked Jatuporn to withdraw the motion, adjourned the sitting.

Government chief whip Chinnaworn Boonyakiat said he was disappointed with Samart's decision. The House Speaker and Samart had discussed the motion earlier, with the former saying that mentioning an "outsider" and possible mention of the monarchy should not be allowed as an urgent motion according to House regulations.

He said the topic (title) of Jatuporn's motion was changed before Samart allowed it, but the content was the same.

"Jatuporn should consider his actions, as every time he stands up to speak, situations like this happen. Does that mean he is causing conflict?" Chinnaworn said.

He said Jatuporn's motion yesterday was dropped. And it must be re-considered whether it is against the regulation if Jatuporn proposes it again next week.

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