Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chaos at the House

It' s a shameful scene in Parliament. It's around 6.00 pm as I was watching the heated debate on whether to move the "reconciliation bill" forward for a vote, all hell broke loose.

The ruling Pheu Thai was intent on getting it over with as soon as possible. Oppositon Democrats were arguing for a stay, claiming that rushing the bill through would be wrong since several clauses there could be unconstitutional. They charged that the bill was aimed at helping former premier Thaksin only.

House Speaker Somsak Kiartsuranont was caught in a dilemma as both sides threw angry words, including rude swearing terms, at one another. Amidst jeers and noisy protests from the opposition MPs, the speaker decided to exercise his prerogative by ruling in favour of the majority. Some opposition MPs went up to the Speaker's Throne, followed by government MPs who apparently were trying to protect him. Chaos reined. Initial reports that one femal MP had slapped another lady MP were later denied. Parliament security officials had to be called in.

It didn't really matter whether the bill was finally put forward for debate. The chaotic scene tells the whole story of reconciliation, Thai style.

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