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Pattaya Daily News

27 June 2008 :: 14:06:15 pm 28484

Thai PM, Seven Cabinet Ministers Win Parliamentary No-Confidence Vote

BANGKOK, June 27 - Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and seven other cabinet ministers in the four-month-old government survived a no-confidence vote on Friday after three days of grilling by the sole opposition, the Democrat Party, accusing the premier and his cabinet members of mismanagement and inefficiency in running the country.
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“The premier garnered 280 out of 442 MPs attending the House sitting, with 162 opposition MPs voting against him,” House Speaker Chai Chidchob said, announcing the result of the vote.

The result was widely anticipated thanks to the healthy majority of seats held by the premier’s ruling People Power Party (PPP) and its five coalition partners which together control about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house of Parliament.

The Democrat party has only 164 seats.
All seven other PPP ministers — 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— easily sailed through the no-confidence vote.

Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat party leader, stated earlier that the opposition did not expect to topple the government but the main focus of the censure debate was on the mismanagement and inefficiency of the administration.

Local media earlier speculated that both the foreign minister and commerce minister might lose their jobs in an expected cabinet shake-up.

Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama was the top target of the opposition’s onslaught over the Preah Vihear temple issue. The opposition took him to task for signing the Thai-Cambodian Joint Communique without parliamentary approval and was virtually understood as theatening the country’s sovereignty when the cabinet on June 17 endorsed Cambodia’s map of the ancient temple and the joint communique which was issued in regard to it.

Cambodia will use the documents to apply for registration of the temple as a World Heritage site at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee meeting next month in Canada.

Commerce and Deputy Prime Minister Mingkwan Saengsuwan was also heavily criticised for his failure to solve Thailand’s rice and inflation challenges.

The opposition charged that the minister’s distribution of rice at discount prices in the market has satisfied a handful of people, but it made foreign clients slow their purchase orders because they misinterpreted the action as an indication that the Thai government had a substantial stock of rice and was trying to keep the rice price lower. When rice millers received few purchase orders, they refused to buy rice from some farmers. It resulted in a sharp drop in rice prices.

The government is now facing mounting pressure from anti-government demonstrators led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), a staunch opponent of the government, which has staged major rallies and mini-protests since May 25.

Thousands of demonstators also laid non-violent siege to Government House since last week demanding the resignation of Mr. Samak and his administration. They accused the four-month-old government of being a proxy of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (TNA)


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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