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Speaker demands to know how renegade MP could attend House vote

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PHOTO: House Speaker Chuan Leekpai. “Please explain”.

Parliamentary House Speaker Chuan Leekpai is demanding an investigation into why parliamentary security didn’t arrest fugitive MP Waipote Arpornrat when he attended a House meeting on Wednesday.

Opposition MPs have voiced suspicion over the presence of Waipote, a member of the Palang Pracharat party, in the House chamber for a crucial vote over the creation of a panel to investigate orders issued under Section 44 of the 2017 interim constitution. Palang Pracharat is the most prominent party of the government’s ruling coalition, and Waipote is wanted under an arrest warrant from the Supreme Court.

Palang Pracharat needs all members of the coalition to attend any vote as their house majority is now wafer-thin.

Chuan says he didn’t chair the House session due to a doctor’s appointment, and that he was unaware of Waipote’s presence in the chamber.

Wednesday’s House session was chaired by Suchart Tancharoen, the first Deputy House Speaker, who says he didn’t order Waipote’s arrest because the House of Representatives hadn’t yet received a warrant from the Pattaya provincial court.

Suchart claimed that since his parliamentary status was still ‘intact’, Waipote could attend House meetings.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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