Opposition parties promise “consequences” for MPs who supported government in censure vote

The opposition Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties told Thai Enquirer this week there will be consequences for members who voted in support of the government during a no-confidence poll at the weekend.

“There will be repercussions against MPs who voted against party lines,” said Pheu Thai deputy leader Pichai Naripthanphan.

Seven MPs from each party broke ranks in Saturday morning’s poll, which saw Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha comfortably survive the no-confidence vote along with five cabinet ministers.

The opposition held a censure debate from 31 August 31 to 3 September on the failures of the premier over the handling of the pandemic.

Also being grilled were Health Minister Anuthin Charnvirakul, Labor Minister Suchat Chomklin, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, and Minister for Digital Economy and Society Chaiwut Thanakamansorn.

The censure motion secured 208 votes against Prayut, falling short of the 242 needed to oust him. The premier received 264 supporting votes from the 482-vote parliament.

Pichai told the Thai Enquirer that MPs have already been warned that the party will punish renegades on an individual basis, according to whether each has voted against party lines before.

“And during the next vote we will need to be more through with our MPs to vote along party lines or else the party will lose control” of its members, he said.

Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, a spokesman for the Move Forward Party, echoed Pichai’s statement that there would be consequences for members that broke with party lines.

“We have an easy way of dealing with people who do not vote along party lines, they want to be dismissed from the party to they can join others.

“But the people voted for them to join this party, so we do not give these MPs what they want.”

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