Opposition parties say ready for house dissolution but charter amendments necessary

Thailand’s opposition parties responded this week to rumors that the government were considering a house dissolution, saying that they’re ready for snap polls but also maintaining that the constitution needs to be changed.

Thai Enquirer reported on Tuesday that a house dissolution could come before the end of the year due to ongoing infighting between coalition partners and mounting pressure on the government. (Read more here)

Opposition leaders on Wednesday told Thai Enquirers that they have have heard about the rumors and were ready for any eventuality.

“The Pheu Thia party is ready for any incident,” said Phue Thai Deputy Party Leader Pichai Narithapan. “We are already having our policy’s ready to announce if dissolution of the house takes place.” 

Pichai said that a house dissolution was not out of the question because “of the internal fighting between the coalition partners, [and the government are] unable to answer the people during the censure debate, [their] mismanagement of Covid-19 and the vaccines, and the economic problems, it’s all piling on.”

Move Forward MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn said that his party, too, was ready in the case of a house dissolution.

“We are not afraid,” he said, adding that the government has mismanaged the country badly from the vaccine situation to poorly thought out aid programs that have led to massive suffering.

Wiroj said that the chances of a dissolution was there “because we see that there is division between the Palang Pracharat Party and the Bhum Jai Thai Party.”

“Dissolving parliament would not be done to show any form of responsibility but because of the inability to work with each other and among the government coalition,” he said.

Changes to the constitution

Both Move Forward and Pheu Thai say that constitutional reforms should be made before any elections due to the problematic nature of the current charter.

Currently, all members of the upper house have been appointed by the previous military junta. The upper house, or senate, is allowed to join in on the vote for prime minister – effectively forming an unelected bloc dominated by generals and yes-men.

“What we want to see is a new constitution because with this current constitution the chances of Prayut coming back is high because he has 250 senators that were hand-picked by his people,” Pichai said. “We would like to limit of the power of the senators first and then have the election.”

“There should be amendments to the constitution before the election because if not Prayut can still form a government even if the opposition parties win more than half of the seats in parliament,” he said.

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