Opposition boycott forces 2nd House suspension in a week
Critics are questioning the coalition government’s legitimacy after another session of Parliament had to be abandoned due to lack of a quorum on Friday.
The second abandonment this week came after opposition MPs refused to join the House of Representatives meeting.
Only 195 MPs registered for Friday’s meeting – 42 short of the minimum 237 MPs required. Boycotting the session were 129 Pheu Thai MPs and eight from Move Forward Party. Most were at the House but refused to register for the meeting.
Pheu Thai adviser Phumtham Wechayachai said on Saturday that the government did not have the stability, efficiency or capability to achieve a quorum.
Meanwhile Pheu Thai MP Chonlanan Srikaew questioned the legitimacy of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s position as the country’s leader.
Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome said on Facebook that opposition parties had agreed not to attend the meeting but Pheu Thai had opposed the boycott. Therefore, Move Forward MPs had decided to lead the way in the public interest.
The coalition government is reeling from three by-election losses last month and the ouster of former deputy agriculture minister Thamanat Prompow and 20 other MPs from the ruling Palang Pracharat party. Only one of the ousted MPs was present at Friday’s meeting, which was also boycotted by 15 Democrat MPs.
Rangsiman said he had expected PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s coalition to dissolve, but instead it was playing political games that are damaging the credibility of Parliament and the hopes of citizens.
The House failed to achieve a quorum three times in 2019, once in 2020, eight times in 2021, and three times already in 2022.