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Pattaya Daily News

24 June 2008 :: 13:06:54 pm 28488

Opposition Set to Grill PM, Cabinet Ministers in No-Confidence Debate

BANGKOK, June 24 - Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and seven other cabinet ministers will be taken to task by the sole opposition party, the Democrat Party, in a no-confidence debate starting Tuesday, after the PM weathered grilling in the Senate's one-day general debate Monday.
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The seven other ministers of the ruling People Power Party targeted by the opposition include Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee, Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan, Transport Minister Santi Prompat, Deputy Transport Minister Songsak Thongsri, Justice Minister Sompong Amornwiwat, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama and Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung.

Speaking to journalists hours before the censure debate begins, Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat party leader, said he would lead the debate himself against the premier and Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama over the controversial Preah Vihear temple issue.

“I am confident that with all the damning evidence the opposition has will be so convincing that the ruling MPs with righteous minds must feel compelled to vote against both the premier and the minister,” Mr. Abhisit said.

The opposition leader emphasised that the Samak government mishandled the Preah Vihear issue and that has nothing to do with Cambodia.

The government on June 17 approved the new map drawn by Cambodia, which defines the temple’s boundary to be proposed to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Commitee meeting in Quebec starting on June 2.

“The opposition did not expect to topple the six-party coalition goverment but the main focus of the centure debate is on the mismanagement and inefficiency of the administration,” Mr. Abhisit stated.

Meanwhile, Chief Government Whip Samart Kaewmeechai said the prime minister and the seven other ministers targeted have no cause for concerns and all five coalition partners reaffirmed their full support.

The six-party government coalition controls about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house of Parliament.

The Democrat party has only 164 seats.

The premier is attending Tuesday’s cabinet meeting at Government House without any interference from demonstrators led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) which is protesting to bring down Mr. Samak’s government.

It was the first time that the prime minister entered his office since it was under siege for five consecutive days by the demonstators who demand the resignation of his four-month old coalition government, accusing it of acting as a proxy for deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Dozens of supporters greeting Mr. Samak with flowers at the rear gate of the compound. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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