Sam Mitr group to help defend PM in censure debate

About 40 members of the Sam Mitr political grouping held a working lunch at a Bangkok hotel this afternoon, reportedly to discuss plans to handle the Opposition's censure debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five of his ministers.

Mr. Suriya Juangroongruangkit, industry minister and a key figure in the group, said today that members met today for a brain-storming session, using their previous political experience to help the Prime Minister and his cabinet members fend off the Opposition's allegations.

He dismissed speculation that the reunion was intended to flex their muscles and to bargain for cabinet seats, in case there is a reshuffle following the censure debate.

He further said that the Democrat party, a member of the coalition government, has promised to support to the Prime Minister if opposition MPs stray beyond the issues detailed in their censure motion.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, another key member of the group, pointed out that the Opposition wants to grill the Prime Minister on issues related to the previous junta regime, which could provoke protests from government MPs.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said that the Prime Minister had not assigned him to speak on any issue on his behalf adding, however, that the Prime Minister should be able to defend himself.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)