MFP warned of legal implications ahead of general debate

Photo courtesy of Visuth Chainaroon Facebook page

A general debate has been scheduled for April 3 and 4, with a cautionary note to the opposition that they may face legal consequences if issues related to the ex-premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, are raised.

This debate doesn’t require a censure vote under Section 152 of the constitution and will span over two days, revealed Wisut Chainarun, the chief government whip. It is foreseen that the opposition will be allocated nearly 30 hours for the debate.

The decision to set these dates came after the opposition filed a motion for the debate on Wednesday. The opposition, largely steered by the Move Forward Party (MFP), is critical of the government’s failure to deliver on its promise to execute core policies announced in Parliament over six months ago.

Wisut expressed appreciation for the general debate as a tool for ensuring accountability. The executive branch, he confirmed, is ready to address all questions without the need to designate a team of debaters to protect the Cabinet ministers. He anticipates a smooth debate provided the opposition refrains from involving individuals not part of the Parliament.

This statement was in response to queries about the possibility of issues related to Thaksin being broached. Thaksin has been under fire for the parole he recently received from the Ministry of Justice, and the ministry’s decision to keep the convicted ex-leader in hospital detention rather than prison before his early release.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin previously asserted that Thaksin’s discharge was in compliance with the law and denied any interference to expedite his early release.

Wisut emphasised the boundaries of the general debate. As per parliament’s regulations, any reference made during the debate to a third person not linked to the debate targets could lead to legal prosecution. This, he believes, would be unjust to anyone mentioned but not present in the chamber to defend themselves, reported Bangkok Post.

Moreover, parliamentary immunity does not cover the act of mentioning a third person during a debate, said Wisut.

“I’m afraid the debater will have to face the music alone.”

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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