Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha may be grilled in a debate over ethics concerning his secretary-general’s appointment. The opposition is reportedly planning to hold a general debate shortly after the New Year as it focuses on what it describes as the unethical appointment of the new secretary-general.
Pheu Thai Party leader, Cholnan Srikaew, told the Bangkok Post, that the opposition is close to wrapping up their plans to question the government. Cholnan says the bloc will submit the proposal to parliament before December 28. He noted that the debate could commence around the third or fourth week of January 2023.
“All I ask of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is that he refrain from dissolving the House in order to avoid the debate. It would be a shameful way to try and escape scrutiny.”
Cholnan made the remarks after Prayut appointed Pirapan Salirathavibhaga as his secretary-general. Pirapan is the leader of the newly established United Thai Nation Party. Critics say Pirapan will have considerable power in his new position and could act as the second prime minister. The opposition says although it is legal for Prayut to appoint a secretary-general, it may not be ethical as the new appointment comes before the next general election in May. Such an appointment could give an unfair political advantage to Prayut as Pirapan leads the UTN party which Prayut is expected to join. The party is also expected to elect Prayut as its PM candidate in the next poll.
Furthermore, critics say the removal of the previous secretary-general was unwarranted, as they say, Dissathat Hotrakit was fully competent and did nothing to deserve a demotion.