Thai opposition tables censure motion against PM

Thailand's main opposition party tabled a motion of no-confidence in PM Vejjajiva and five other ministers.

Thai opposition tables censure motion against PM

Thailand's main opposition party on Thursday tabled a motion of no-confidence in Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and five other ministers and parliament is likely to debate it later in March.

The Puea Thai party, which is close to ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, included Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya in a motion handed to the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.

"We find these ministers abused their power ... If we don't stop them now, the country will decline to the point where it will be past remedy," the motion said.

Among the charges are an allegation that Korn tried to induce mobile phone operators to invite users to send text messages of greeting to newly appointed Abhisit in December.

Kasit has attracted particular hostility from the opposition because he was a regular speaker at rallies of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), a street movement that undermined previous governments last year and led by supporters of Thaksin.

Kasit described a week-long closure of Bangkok airports by PAD protests late last year as "part of the democratic process".

Like an impeachment motion tabled on Wednesday, the censure motion is not expected to topple the government because the opposition is unlikely to rally half the members of parliament, as required, analysts said.

"The government still has a good image and it's a tall order for the opposition to destroy it," said Boonyakiat Karawekphan, a political scientist at Ramkamhaeng University.

However, the parliamentary procedure could distract Abhisit and his cabinet at a time when it should be concentrating on the economy, which experienced its worst contraction on record in the final quarter of 2008 and is likely to enter recession this year.

As unemployment rises, consumer confidence is falling, according to a survey published on Thursday. Worries about political instability were on the rise again, it found. [IDn:BKK440671].

Addressing reporters in Hong Kong on Thursday, Thaksin again criticised the government's economic stimulus measures, referred to the administration as a "dictatorship" and ridiculed the corruption conviction that made him flee Thailand.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mart 2009, 17:56