No vote on charter amendment, reconciliation bills: Parliament President

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BANGKOK, June 12 – Thailand’s President of Parliament Somsak Kiatsuranont on Tuesday reaffirmed that today’s joint sitting of the Lower House and Senate will neither vote on the third reading of the charter amendment bill nor deliberate the reconciliation bill.

The parliament president spoke as the joint parliament sitting opened this morning amid concerns that the session might vote on putting the charter amendment draft on agenda although the Constitution Court ordered Parliament to suspend deliberation of the draft pending the Court ruling on its constitutionality as petitioned by some MPs and senators.

Mr Somsak reiterated, however, that he had thoroughly considered the problem of a vote on the charter amendment as assigned by the ruling Pheu Thai Party and decided that there would be neither voting on the issue or deliberation on the reconciliation bill in the current session in order to reduce conflict and avoid any violence.

The parliament president urged the government to issue a royal decree seeking to close the session after Parliament finishes deliberating the anti-money laundering bill and the proposed framework for negotiations with other countries prior to the signing of any international agreements under Article 190 of the Constitution.

“I reiterated that, at this minute, my decision is based on national interest (as I) don’t want to see any more bloodshed among Thai people,” Mr Somsak said. “This is not about fear or not fearing; it’s about reconciliation.”

He advised that during the one-month House recess, all parties should talk together.

“I have made one step back and all parties concerned should also make similar move to discuss and find solutions together for the benefit of the country.” the parliament president said.

Mr Somsak announced his decision after the opposition whip on Monday vowed to not join the vote on the third reading of charter amendment draft if it was put on the agenda.

Shortly afterward, the parliament president said that the Cabinet today resolved to end the current parliamentary session on June 19.