FORMER prime minister and parliament president Chuan Leekpai said today (June 23) that the party that obtained the most number of MPs should get both the premiership and the House speaker post with this referring to Move Forward which got 151 seats and Phue Thai 142 seats having tussled over the latter position, Matichon newspaper said.
Usually the largest and the second largest elected parties are on opposite sides of the aisle but this time they are both part of the coalition with this leading to a tug-of-war on which camp will get the House speaker post, Chuan said while registering as a Democrat MP at Parliament today.
Regarding concerns that whichever party gets the House speaker post will have an advantage in proposing draft laws and motions, Chuan pointed out this has no effect as the constitution says that the speaker has to be impartial and in his 55 years of political experience he has seen that regardless which party the speaker belonged to he has generally been impartial.
There were problems with only two speakers with this arising from the government telling the position holder to do something incorrect.
However today it is not even possible to move one party’s legislation for consideration before the others because a House resolution is needed to make the change.
Parties that were in the opposition which then get to become the government are compensated because the numerous government legislations marked urgent have to be considered first while those of the opposition might not be considered at all.
Regarding the amendment of the lese majeste law, better known as Criminal Code Section 112, Chuan pointed out that some Move Forward MPs had tabled a motion to amend this law but Mr. Suchart Tancharoen, the First Deputy Speaker of the House at that time, had pointed out that certain clauses of the amendment could violate Article 6 of the constitution.
The amendment was not tabled for debate and handed back to Move Forward to make changes and resubmit it but they did not do so, Chuan said, adding that Suchart was being very careful with all other legislations having been passed except for this one.
Former prime minister and parliament president Chuan Leekpai speaking to reporters today, June 23, 2023. Photos: Matichon