By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PREMIER ABHISIT Vejjajiva today (June 27) questioned Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s ability to run the country at all since he could not even find a few hours to spend responding to last week’s House interpellation.
During a seminar held at parliament on the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Revolution of Siam, Abhisit said he wondered if Prayut could efficiently run the country in the first place since the coup leader-turned-premier failed to attend last week’s House interpellation which directly involved him.
“Given his failure to have managed to find a few hours to respond to a House interpellation, which had been scheduled beforehand, how could the prime minister possibly run the country in the first place?” said the former premier and former leader of Democrat Party.
Abhisit endorsed a rare criticism of Prayut by Deputy House Speaker Suchart Tancharoen who had remarked during last week’s House interpellation session that the premier should not have given out orders to government officials as if they were soldiers at his command and should have paid due respect for the legislative branch by seeing to it that a specific cabinet member whom he may have assigned to attend a House interpellation be literally available to do so.
Prayut had reportedly assigned Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith to attend last week’s House meeting and respond to the interpellation involving the people’s economic woes but Arkhom had assigned Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat to act on his behalf for that matter only to find Santi unavailable to do so, thus rendering postponement of the interpellation.
Abhisit commented that Prayut should have been more politically accountable for a failure on the part of his government as a whole though the premier himself may not have made a mistake about it. Government leaders may almost immediately resign to keep the legislative or executive branch moving forward instead of passing around the buck of responsibility.
Abhisit said Thai politicians should not only have more sense of responsibility but ethic like those in many democracies around the globe.
In Japan, a cabinet member resigned only because he was drunk during a National Diet meeting whereas in Thailand a House committee has spent two years investigating whether one was drunk at work and yet could not reach a conclusion, according to the former premier.
In no democracies in the world other than Thailand is the politicians’ ethical code of conduct determined by court, he said.
Following the 2019 general election and subsequent naming of Prayut as head of a post-election government by the largest coalition partner Palang Pracharath Party, Abhisit single-handedly staged a protest by resigning as leader of the third-largest coalition partner Democrat Party and as a party-listed MP.
Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Top photo: INN News, Front Page photo: Naewna