PM shrugs off claims of MPs being bribed to vote against him in no-confidence debate


The Thai PM has dismissed allegations that MPs are being bribed to topple the government in a forthcoming no-confidence debate. The claims were made on Facebook by former deputy PM, Trairong Suwannakhiri, according to a Bangkok Post report. Trairong says he’s learnt that between 5 and 30 million baht has been offered to MPs from smaller coalition parties, in an attempt to persuade them to topple the current administration.

According to the Bangkok Post, a group of 16 MPs from smaller parties have previously said they will vote in favour of anything that is in the country’s best interests, even if that is in opposition to the government.

Cholnan Srikaew, the leader of the main opposition party, Pheu Thai, says his party plans to table a no-confidence motion against the PM and his administration, with a debate likely to take place in late June or early July.

Meanwhile, government ministers have joined the PM in downplaying the allegations of bribery and vote-buying. Public Health Minister and leader of the Bhumjaithai coalition party, Anutin Charnvirakul, has dismissed the claims.

“The money figures and the plot (to unseat the PM) are questionable. If MPs act like that, their parties must take action. But such things do not happen in Bhumjaithai.”

Anutin goes on to say all coalition members must work together, taking collective responsibility, and if ministers can defend and explain themselves during a no-confidence debate, MPs are obliged to support them.

“No leaders of the coalition parties have been worried about a vote in parliament. Everyone supports the government to carry on working smoothly.”

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has also downplayed the allegations, dismissing a claim that MPs have been offered up to 30 million baht to vote against the PM.

“That’s too much money to be spent on ousting the government considering that the government has not much time left in office. That’s impossible to believe.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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