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Speaker wants bills on reconciliation pulled

Somsak

Somsak

House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont said yesterday that he would ask the sponsors of the reconciliation bills to withdraw them from the House of Representatives agenda to reduce political tension.

"In my opinion, the [fate of] the reconciliation bills will determine how long the government remains in power. We'll see on August 1. I personally think the government faces some obstacles, but we should try to support the administration so it can last four years. I think it will certainly make it until the end of the term," he said.

The Speaker added that whether Thai politics heats up again after the parliamentary session opens, as predicted by some former Thai Rak Thai party members, would depend on individual politicians' behaviour.

Somsak said he believed the four reconciliation bills awaiting their first reading when the next parliamentary session begins on August 1 should first be withdrawn.

The bills should be pulled pending public hearings on reconciliation measures as suggested by King Prajadhipok's Institute, he said. If the sponsors of the bills agree to withdraw the drafts, the parliamentarians could move other issues up the agenda and discuss them first.

The four bills were sponsored by Matubhum Party leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin and Pheu Thai Party MPs.

Somsak said he raised the suggestion with Sonthi but the Matubhum leader, who headed a special House committee on reconciliation measures, had yet to make a decision.

Somsak said he would also raise the issue with Pheu Thai's strategic committee.

Deputy Agriculture Minister and red-shirt leader Natthawut Saikua, who proposed one of the bills, said he agreed that Pheu Thai needed to consider the issue carefully. The Democrats are ready to seize on any issue and point them out to agencies to scrutinise Pheu Thai, he said.

On the progress of the Constitution amendment, Somsak said that if the Constitution Court in early July rules that the legislation does not violate the charter, he would put the issue on the agenda. However, he would not open an extraordinary session of Parliament.


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