NLA rejects Surapong’s request for quorum vote count

The National Legislative Assembly on Wednesday rejected former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul's request for a vote count to determine whether the assembly had a quorum.

Mr Surapong who is facing an impeachment was present at the NLA meeting on Wednesday to give his closing statement regarding former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's Thai passport. He questioned whether the meeting had a quorum.

The former foreign minister's request prompted Mr Surachai Liangboonlertchai, the first vice president of the NLA to summon assemblymen who were outside the chamber to get in. After being satisfied with the presence of assemblymen in the chamber, he asked Surapong and a Pheu Thai legal advisor Ruangkrai Leekitwattana to leave the chamber.

The NLA spent about an hour discussing whether Mr Surapong had the right to request for a vote count to determine the quorum of the assembly. The assembly voted unanimously to ditch Surapong's request on the ground that he was an outsider.

Surapong was informed of the NLA's rejection of his request. He was also queried by Mr Surachai about the presence of Ruangkrai by his side in the chamber and Ruangkrai's alleged threats against the NLA.

Ms Supa Piyajitti, a member of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, also gave her closing statement to the NLA. She accused Surapong of returning Thai passport to Thaksin.

Surapong later told the Press that he believed he would be treated fairly by the NLA which is due to vote tomorrow whether to impeach him or not.

At least three-fifths of the NLA memberships of 250 or 150 votes will be required to impeach Surapong.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)