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PM Prayut, 5 ministers win votes to beat no-confidence charge

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: PM Prayut and 5 cabinet ministers won their votes of confidence today. (via AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

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 out 5 million baht 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.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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