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Democrats to target PM in censure

No date yet; Opposition likely to target Yingluck's record of blunders

The Democrat Party has launched preparations to file a no-confidence motion, although it has not set a specific date to censure Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Democrat MP Thepthai Senapong said yesterday.

"We still have four months to pick a date for the censure debate," he said.

Thepthai said the censure would take place even if the government chose to reshuffle the Cabinet. The ministerial line-up would not change anything because PM Yingluck would be the main target of the grilling, he added.

He said the censure motion would be filed as it was a constitutional duty of the opposition to keep a check on the government's performance.

Observers expect the Democrats to use character-assassination tactics against Yingluck, as she has gained notoriety for her blunders in public speeches.

Earlier, Yingluck mostly stayed away from House debates and assigned her deputies to answer the Opposition's questions in the House.

Pheu Thai MPs will meet on Tuesday to discuss how they can best handle the upcoming censure debate.

Pheu Thai spokesperson Prompong Nopparit said the meeting would also discuss how to steer the government's policy after a year in office. In order to be prepared, MPs will have to discuss how they can best handle the censure debate this month.

Many will be given "homework" to prepare to answer any question or accusation from the opposition Democrat Party. Issues to be discussed include the rice-price guarantee scheme along with similar schemes for other agricultural produce, the subsidised first-car purchase policy, the subsidised first-home purchase policy and the ongoing violence in the three southernmost provinces.

"I am confident that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be able to clarify the allegations even if she is not good at exchanging political snipes because in policy management, no one can compete with the premier. If the opposition fails to scrutinise well, they could end up being on the losing side. We have prepared information to counter [the Opposition too] such as the dodging of compulsory military conscription by Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party. So we must keep an eye on who is scrutinising whom," said Prompong.


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