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Coalition for PM Removal

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  • Coalition for PM Removal

    Coalition of parties said to be plotting for PM Prayut’s removal

    PM Prayut is under scrutiny as a coalition of parties want to remove him from office. Members of some of the parliament’s smaller parties confirmed the existence of a rumoured plot brewed amongst a coalition of parties to unseat PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. The revelation and confirmation of this plot details the effort of several parties to come together and remove the Prime Minister from power. The New Palangdharma Party said that it will take a coalition of many of the small parties in the parliament along with the larger parties to turn the tide. The party leader seemed to confirm rumours that one of the most powerful opposition parties leading the charge, Pheu Thai, has been negotiating a deal with some key figures in the Palang Pracharath Party in power now to vote for PM Prayut’s removal.

    Nothing is simple in Thailand and the political negotiations between parties opposing and partnering, sometimes simultaneously, is often tumultuous. The rumours of a secret deal between Pheu Thai and some PPRP leaders were questioned by the opposition Move Forward Party with many believing rebellious or politically ambitious PPRP leaders are involved in an ouster plot. Of note, controversial PPRP member Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Thamanat Prompow has been rumoured to be prepping for a takeover bid, a rumour he denies. Sceptics point out that Thamanat and PPRP leader Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan were conspicuously absent from the cabinet members named in the no-confidence proceedings.

    Some also note that while the attacks on PM Prayut and the other named cabinet members have been fierce, the defence has been a bit lacklustre and lacking passion. The prime minister acknowledged he was aware of the coalition rumours, which led to speculation about dissolving the House and a whole shuffle in political alliances, but PM Prayut says he intends to continue the course and ride out his 4-year-term.

    There are about a dozen small parties with less than 10 parliament members, 9 of which have only one MP, totalling about 20 votes. If they all band together with the bigger opposition parties, they could reach the threshold with about 212 votes to take out PM Prayut. But then an outsider would likely be brought in to replace the prime minister and would have to garner the support of the PPRP and the Pheu Thai as they hold a combined total of 250 votes.

    The splintering support for PM Prayut leading to the coalition of opponents stems from a battle between the PM and Prawit and Minister of Interior Anupong Paochinda over their desire to install Jatuporn Buruspat as Secretary for Interior in order to strategise an advantage for the next election. That rift had caused 40 MPs to express support for replacing Prayut, but 20 of them were talked down by supporters of the prime minister.

    Today is the last day of a 4-day censure debate leading to a vote tomorrow where members of parliament could deliver a vote of no confidence for the Prime Minister and 5 other cabinet ministers. the debate has seen those accused defending their policies and actions regarding Covid-19 and vaccine management as well as general economic woes and a shocking accusation yesterday that PM Prayut gave 5 Million THB each to several MPs to guarantee a vote in his favour, a charge the PM emphatically denies.

  • #2
    PM Prayut, 5 Ministers win votes to beat no-confidence charge
    only a dreamer would expected something different....

    After 4 days of intense debates in the censure proceedings that called for a vote of no-confidence for PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and 5 top ministers in his cabinet, the group all avoided the no-confidence votes. There was a lot of talk about secret political deals aligning the Palang Pracharath Party and the Pheu Thai party, along with a coalition of about a dozen small parties to pull together enough votes to topple the prime minister, but in the end, the plan did not prevail.

    While PM Prayut and other political leaders have faced a variety of criticisms over their actions and policies, this censure debate was focused primarily on the government’s mismanagement of vaccine procurement and distribution, as well as the weak handling of the Covid-19 pandemic this year as the virus finally took hold in Thailand and spread like wildfire across the country.

    Many believed that some key leaders inside the PPRP were fracturing from PM Prayut and the party line while angling themselves into positions of power, citing a muted defence of the PM from the ruling party, and a few high profile figures avoiding being named in the no-confidence votes. Rumours were rampant that PM Prayut had handed out5 Million THB bribes to several MPs in a private meeting yesterday in order to bolster their support and secure their votes. An investigation of the CCTV footage around that meeting was ordered, but no further details have been released.

    By the end of the hearings though, PM Prayut won the House of Representatives vote 264 to 208 with 3 MPs abstaining to keep his position helming the country. All 5 of the accused cabinet ministers also won their votes and all will keep their positions. Often criticised Public Health Minister Anutin Charvirakul garnered 269 yea votes against 196 nay votes with 11 abstaining. Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin won 263 votes to 201 votes while 10 members abstained.

    Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob survived the vote of no confidence 269 to 195 with 10 abstaining, while Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on beat the charge 270 to 199 with 8 abstaining. Finally, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn received 267 yes votes against 202 no votes with 9 abstaining to hold his seat.


    • #3
      Opposition to take legal action against Thai PM, ministers, following no-confidence vote

      Thailand’s opposition parties plan to take legal action against the PM and several of his ministers, following a no-confidence vote that went in the government’s favour. Chief opposition whip, Sutin Klungsang, says 6 parties will pursue legal action, according to a Bangkok Post report.

      Last week’s no-confidence debate targeted PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and 5 of his ministers: Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, who also serves as deputy prime minister, Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Chalermchai Sri-on, Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklin, and Digital Economy and Society Minister, Chaiwut Thana­kamanusorn.

      The Bangkok Post reports Sutin as saying opposition parties are satisfied with how their MPs performed during the debate, adding that the PM and his ministers were expected to survive the vote, given that no sitting government has ever lost a no-confidence vote. The opposition insists however, that there are still a number of irregularities that arose in the debate and that have not been addressed.

      Chief among those is how the government managed to get enough votes from MPs. Wisarn Techathirawat from the Pheu Thai Party has accused the PM of paying some MPs 5 Million THB each in order to get them to vote for him. The government has denied the accusation and responded by threatening Wisarn with legal action. However, Sutin says the opposition has strong evidence in relation to the accusation and will file a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Constitutional Court.

      He adds that the PM and his administration failed to give clear answers to many of the issues raised during the no-confidence debate, including how much was paid for China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine and what the procurement details were. Opposition MPs also had questions in relation to the procurement of antigen test kits and Sutin says no satisfactory responses were forthcoming there either.


      • #4

        Thailand’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao Resigned

        The Royal Gazette also issued an announcement that Thammanat Prompao and Narumon Pinyosinwat were to leave their ministerial posts as deputy agriculture minister and deputy labor minister respectively. According to Thammanat’s statement at the parliament today, he decided to resign due to internal rifts and different political ideologies with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha and the Palang Pracharat Party.

        However, his resignation letter that was issued Wednesday has marked the same date as a Royal Gazette announcement, stating that the two ministers should leave the positions as proposed to His Majesty the King by the Prime Minister, seemingly stating that the two were fired.

        It is debatable whether the former Deputy Agriculture Minister was resigned or was removed from the position. Thammanat has long been arguably the most controversial member of the current Thai Cabinet due to an Australian drug conviction, whose circumstances he disputes.


        • #5
          Political activists demand Thai PM quits at the end of his tenure

          Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may have survived the vote of no confidence just over a week ago but the pressure is still on for him to stand down after a political activist group cranked up more opposition to his tenure. PM Prayut and 10 other cabinet ministers rode the political storm at the censure debate between July 19 and July 24 and won a vote of confidence held at the end of proceedings.

          Gen Prayut secured 256 votes of confidence against 206 votes of no confidence with nine abstentions. But that has not stopped a political activist group from calling for the Thai PM to quit before the end of this month. The Campaign for Popular Democracy group has called on PM Prayut “abide by the law” and step down when his term expires on August 24.

          Metha Maskhao, secretary-general of the Campaign for Popular Democracy, said yesterday that 99 people have signed a petition calling on the 68 year old chief to stand down when his tenure ends.

          “The petitioners include academics and business people.”
          On August 24 Pm Prayut will have served two consecutive four year terms following the coup in 2014. The Thai Constitution states that a prime minister can only serve two terms and a maximum of eight years. Article 158 of the Constitution states that

          “The prime minister shall not hold office for more than eight years in total, whether or not consecutively. However, it shall not include the period during which the prime minister carries out duties after vacating office.”
          Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who is in charge of the government’s legal affairs, said earlier that the eight-year limit should not have a retroactive effect on PM Prayut.

          Wissanu stated the period should start on the date that the current Constitution was promulgated, and not the day Gen Prayut became prime minister after leading the 2014 coup. Professor Udom Rathamarit, spokesman for the now-defunct Constitution Drafting Commission and former dean of Thammasat University’s Faculty of Law, added that the eight-year period should start on June 6, 2019, when Prayut was appointed prime minister by Royal command after the general election.

          But Boonsong Chaletorn, deputy dean of Rangsit University’s Institute of Public Administration, urged PM Prayut to “wash his hands of politics” and stand down, as Gen Prem Tinsulanonda did in 1988 after serving as prime minister for over eight years.

          “In this way, (Gen Prayut) will benefit the country more than if he stubbornly clings to the office for another term.”