Thailand: PPRP House vote rebels face censure of their own

  • The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is considering taking action against a group of six party MPs led by Wathanya Wong-opasee who abstained from voting for Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob at the end of last week’s censure debate, a party source said.
  • There are fears the snub could affect ties with the Bhumjaithai Party — of which Mr Saksayam is the secretary-general — as Newin Chidchob, Bhumjaithai party’s de facto leader and elder brother of Mr Saksayam, is said to be pressuring the PPRP to take action.
  • The PPRP’s executive board is expected to address the matter on 22 Feb 21, according to the source. He said when Deputy Prime Minister and PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon ordered party MPs to give equal number of votes to each minister, he was clear that meant all 10 targets, not just the PPRP ministers.
  • Key PPRP figures are said to have discussed the matter and agreed that Ms Wathanya, who is a party-list MP and the group leader, should consider resigning from the party as the group will likely now be shunned from activities of any note, including serving on House committees, said the source.
  • The Democrat Party, meanwhile, will ask its three MPs who abstained from voting for Commerce Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, also Democrat leader, to explain themselves, said party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng. The MPs are Panit Wikitset, Apichai Techa-ubon, and Anwar Salae who cast a vote of confidence for the other ministers but abstained from voting for their own leader.
  • Mr Ramet said the party secretary-general has been asked to gather information about the matter, which will be reviewed by the party’s executive board. However, the Democrat spokesman declined to say whether the issue was an indication of internal conflict.

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