House Speaker scotches rumour: No Parliament session Monday

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BANGKOK, June 15 – House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont denied reports on Friday that he would call a House sitting Monday to vote on the third reading of the constitution amendment bill, saying he has not received a request from the government whip asking him to reconvene the house.

He affirmed that the house will reconvene for an ordinary session on Aug 1.

The Cabinet earlier approved a draft royal decree to conclude the current parliamentary session on June 19 as proposed by the government whips.

The decision was made following Democrat Party/opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva strongly urging the government to close the current parliamentary session to avoid conflict between the court and Parliament.

The Constitution Court had ordered parliament to stop deliberating and voting on the bill pending delivery of its ruling after the court accepted petitions questioning the legality of the bill.

The proposal to delay the vote drew fierce opposition from some red shirt MPs, including Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar and Korkaew Pikulthong, who wanted Parliament to vote on the charter bill during the joint session on June 12.

The house speaker however insisted that there was no rift, but only differing views within the ruling Pheu Thai party on the issue.

Mr Somsak reiterated his call for all parties concerned to step backward and to discuss reducing political tensions and confrontation during the house recess.