If Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had any delusions about how much Thais love him, those delusions should be disappearing right about now with events occurring this month.
First, the opposition is holding a no confidence debate against Prayut and five of his ministers, beginning on August 31st and carrying on until September 3rd.
The five ministers are Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin and Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.
All are being accused of performing their duties against the public interest.
Along with the no confidence debate, Pheu Thai has also set out a plan to ask the Thai public to cast their votes against Prayut via a website.
A plan government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana asked they withdraw today.
In his explanation of his request, Khun Thanakorn said a censure debate is a way for opposition parties to assess whether a government is governing in the best interests of the country.
It is not a way to ask citizens to vote against the government as, he stressed, there are legal channels people can go through if they believe the government is involved in wrongdoing.
Of course, Khun Thanakorn’s statement could also be looked at as the government being worried about what the results of such an online vote would be.
After all, demonstrations against the government have been ongoing for over a year and, if it wasn’t for the current Covid-19 restrictions by Prayut’s government, would likely have dramatically increased in size.
Pheu Thai is not stepping back from their plan to collect public votes against Prayut as yet, however.
In fact, Pheu Thai party secretary general Prasert Chanthornruangthong appeared to double down on the party’s vote plan when he announced earlier today that his party’s MPs will prove the government is ‘power hungry and arrogant’.
In particular due to the way it has behaved in the procurement of vaccines.
Khun Prasert then urged Thais to vote against the government so that it can be proven just how much the majority of Thais want them out.