Backing off unity, amendment bills could prolong govt: Poll
MP says opposition has the right to call witnesses in Charter Court caseThe government will last a four-year term if it stops pushing bills on the two controversial issues of charter change and reconciliation, according to the results of a Suan Dusit Poll opinion survey released yesterday.
About half of respondents urged the government to drop the bills designed to bring about a new charter and an amnesty for former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Democrat MP Thepthai Seanapong voiced support for House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont's proposal to withdraw the reconciliation bill in a bid to lessen the political tension.
In contrast to Somsak's proposal, Pheu Thai MP Samart Kaewmechai had floated an unacceptable idea that the opposition Democrats should offer an alternate draft on Thaksin's amnesty, Thepthai said.
"The Democrats will never fall prey to a government scam to whitewash Thaksin's conviction and punishment," he said.
He said the government was insincere about wanting to mend |fences, and had an ulterior motive in citing reconciliation - to rescue Thaksin.
Commenting on this week's judicial inquiry into charter change, Thepthai said the ruling Pheu Thai Party should not try to sway sentiment to pressure the Constitution Court. He said complainants against charter change had the right to call witnesses, including former charter writers such as Anan Panyarachun and Somkid Lertpaitoon, and the ruling party had no justification in blocking such witnesses from testifying.
He said he wanted to call attention to attempts by Pheu Thai leaders like Chaturon Chaisang, Natthawut Saikua and Kokaew Pikulthong to discredit the high court.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said his party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit would be one of the key witnesses to defend the constitutionality of charter change.
"It is impossible for Pheu Thai to push for political regime change as alleged," he said.
Prompong said he was surprise that Anan would testify as one of the opposition's witnesses. He called for Anan to reconsider his decision, arguing that doubt would linger as to why he would agree to side with a former junta member like General Somjet Boonthanom.
Somjet is one of the complainants against charter change.
The ruling party spokesman said the Democrats were playing a political game in luring the government to drop the reconciliation bill.
The Democrats were trying to fault the government even though they knew full well that the bill was a legislative issue outside the government's jurisdiction, he said.
He also dismissed speculation that Thaksin had made a call via Skype to reprimand Somsak for trying to drop the reconciliation bill.
"Thaksin has no involvement interfering in legislative affairs and the speculation was circulated to smear him," he said.