BANGKOK, Sep 5, 2019, Bangkok Post. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday defended his oath-taking in the cabinet swearing-in ceremony, saying he acted in compliance with the constitution. Gen Prayut made the remark after he inspected floods in Ban Don Pluang, tambon Wang Pikul, in Phitsanulok’s Wang Thong district, reported the Bangkok Post.
The premier said he had nothing to worry about because his intentions were pure.
Gen Prayut also assured he would follow due process — an apparent reference to the general debate sought by the opposition to discuss his failure to recite the full oath.
The cabinet on Tuesday agreed to answer questions related to the issue in the House of Representatives on Sept 18.
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai on Wednesday insisted parliament could only debate Prime Minister Prayut’s oath blunder on Sept 18, from 9.30am until midnight.
Mr Chuan said he could not call for a special session to extend the debate for a second day, as a parliamentary session can only be extended by a royal decree.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said the government is not trying to limit the debate, which was called for by the opposition.
“It is not a sensitive issue. One day is enough,” he said.
Gen Prawit went on to say that he did not mind if the debate is opened to the public, but reminded MPs to refrain from any speech that might concern the “high institution”.
The deputy premier also said he expected the oath debacle to be resolved in parliament, and hoped the issue won’t be raised again outside of the House of Representatives.
The opposition chief whip, Suthin Khlangsaeng, said the opposition needs between 12-13 hours to debate the matter, as the bloc has 15 speakers to address the House.
Mr Suthin also said the debate should not be closed to the public as the opposition has no intention to raise any issues that concerns the high institution.
He also demanded Gen Prayut to answer the questions directly, saying, “That will show responsibility.”
Critics have said the incomplete oath could jeopardise the legal status of the cabinet, its decisions and their implementation.