Opposition threatens action against ten rebel MPs for alleged betrayal

The Opposition has threatened to take legal action against 10 of their MPs who were present in the House chamber last night, in defiance of the Opposition bloc's decision to boycott the meeting. The meeting was to hold a fresh vote on a motion to set up an ad hoc panel to investigate the impacts of pre-election junta's orders and executive orders issued under Section 44 of the interim constitution.

The motion, which was fiercely opposed by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who, in his previous capacity, was head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), was voted down by a majority on Wednesday night.

A total of 244 MPs voted to drop the motion against five who voted in favour. 6 MPs abstained.

The abstentions were House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, Deputy House Speakers Suchart Tancharoen, Supachai Phosu, Future Forward MP for Chanthaburi Charoek Sri-on and Prachachart MPs Thanapit Kittiwongsa of Chanthaburi and Anumat Susaraw of Pattani.

Opposition chief whip Suthin Klangsaeng said late last night that he will seek an explanation from each of the dissident opposition MPs, starting with why they defied the Opposition decision to stay away from the House session, to force the government to prove it has enough support to form the quorum.

He said that, at this stage, he will not brand them as cobras, adding that they will be treated with fairness.

As for the three defiant Pheu Thai MPs who joined the House meeting, Suthin said that, if it could be proved that any of them had been promised an inducement by the government, the Pheu Thai party will deal with them in accordance with its regulations.

The three rebel Pheu Thai MPs are Udon Thani MP Kachit Chainikhom, Pathum Thani MP Ms. Pornpimon Thammasarn and Bangkok MP Polapoom Wipatphumeeprathet.

Kachit said that he does not support the Government and is not a cobra (traitor), claiming that it has always been his habit to insert his ID card into the system to declare his attendance on entering the House chamber and to leave it there until he was about to return home.

The seven other dissidents are two Future Forward MPs Charoek Sri-on and Pol Lt-Col Thanapat Kittiwongsa, both of Chanthaburi, four New Economics party list MPs, namely Pasakorn Ngerncharoenkul, Manoon Sivapiromrat, Mrs. Marasee Kachonrnruangrote and Supadit Arkartruek and one Prachachart MP, Anumat Susaror of Pattani.

On the government side, the six Democrat MPs who originally voted in favour of the Opposition motion, again, defied the party whip to vote down the motion.

Those who openly defied the Government by voting for the motion are Nakhon Si Thammarat MP Thepthai Senpong, Trang MP Sathit Wongnongtoey, Pattani MP Anwar Salae and party-list MP Panit Vikitseth. Phang-nga MP Kantawan Tanthien and Tak MP Chaivuth Bannawat abstained.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)