Opposition MPs kicked off their debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with calls, from Pheu
Thai secretary-general Anudit Nakhontap and Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr
Saengkanokkul, for the resignation of the Prime Minister for his failure to recite the full oath of
allegiance, as required by the Constitution.
Anudit began by saying that the swearing of an oath of allegiance is mandatory for those assuming
public office. Failing to do so means that the government in question cannot assume the office and he
cited the case of former US president Barak Obama, who had to take the oath a second time after he
realized he made mistake in the original recital.
He described the Prime Minister's omission of some key words in the oath as his refusal to promise to
the people that he will follow the Constitution, for an instance, by refusing to provide funding for free
Anudit went on to say that the Prime Minister's omissions make it impossible for the opposition to hold
him accountable for some misdeeds, because the Prime Minister could claim that he didn't make any
such promise to the people.
Then he suggested the Prime Minister resign to show his responsibility.
Earlier in the morning, Pheu Thai party leader Sompong Amornvivat, who kicked off the debate, accused
the Prime Minister of lacking political maturity as a government leader, adding that he has a legitimacy
problem due to his incomplete recital of the oath, in particular the wording requiring him to preserve
and follow the Constitution in its entirety.
He accused the Prime Minister of ignoring repeated calls from the opposition to make amends for his
Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr said he suspected the Prime Minister was subconsciously
rejecting any provision in the charter that restrains his use of power, except Section 44 of the interim
He said the Constitution is not a tool to satisfy his whims and that any Prime Minister must follow the
full requirements of the Constitution, without exceptions.
Piyabutr said he doesn't mind if the oath taking was complete or incomplete. Rather, what he objects to
is that the Prime Minister's conduct may set a bad precedent for future ministers to follow.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)