ACTIVISTS staged a demonstration in front of Parliament today (Nov. 2) to express their opposition to the House of Representatives voting to reject Move Forward Party’s Progressive Liquor Bill, INN News and Matichon newspaper said.
At 4.30 p.m. the Thalu Fah group together with “Beer People” activists kicked off the “People’s Liquor” event with booths set up where local liquor and craft beer were displayed.
Among them were Khaosan 2019, Mahanakhon, Underdog Beer, Padtho Sato, Khipsib, 40 degrees community distilled spirits, Yongyai, Boon Jinda, Tai Phuan, liquor distilled from sticky rice, Yam Yen white spirits among others.
Amnesty International Thailand also set up a booth for participants to sign in support of the rights of human rights defenders around the world.
There was to be a demonstration on how to make beer and giving beer-tasting tips plus discussions of various topics till 9 p.m.
This demonstration took place just as the House of Representatives rejected Move Forward Party’s Progressive Liquor Bill after a lengthy debate in two rounds of voting.
In June this year the Lower House had approved this bill, which proposes amendments to the Excise Tax Act, in its first reading. It was to be considered in its second and third readings today.
After the long debate, although there were MPs who agreed with the revised draft, further amendment of this bill was rejected by a vote of 177 to 174 with 11 abstentions.
However the proponents fought on and asked for a new roll-call vote.
In the second vote the Move Forward Party’s bill was rejected by 196 to 194 with 15 abstentions.
With the rejection being by just two votes, the bill could be tabled again for further amendments but this would have to be done at the next parliamentary session which would take place after a general election early next year.
The panel counting the votes said it took about an hour to count the roll-call votes as some reviews had to be made amid duplication.
A new ministerial regulation loosening control over liquor production came into effect today after being approved by the Cabinet and published in the Royal Gazette yesterday.
A demonstration in support of Move Forward Party’s Progressive Liquor Bill in front of Parliament today. Photos: Matichon