Home > Local News > House defers decision on JBC minutes

House defers decision on JBC minutes

Parliament has deferred its decision on the
results of a study into the three minutes of the Thai-Cambodian Joint
Boundary Commission due to the lack of a quorum.
Cambodian National Assembly President Heng Samrin, right, introduces
his Thai counterpart Chai Chidchob, center, to Cambodian officials at
the Cambodia National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, July
23, 2009. Chai Chidchob pays a two-day official visit to Cambodia. (AP
Photo/Heng Sinith)
The House will discuss the matter again next Tuesday, House Speaker Chai Chidchob said yesterday.
The study was conducted by a joint committee of MPs and senators,
following fierce disagreements among MPs over the motion that
parliament approve the three minutes.
However, a group of about 80 MPs led by Democrat MP for Songkhla
Sirichoke Sopha previously petitioned the Constitution Court to rule on
the exact status of the three documents.
Chaowana Traimas, secretary-general of the court’s office, said
yesterday the court had already accepted the petition and notified
parliament on Friday about the petition being submitted and accepted
for consideration.
As a result, the joint parliamentary sitting yesterday was split on
whether it should proceed with the meeting agenda to deliberate the
study results of the three JBC documents while the court decision was
still pending.
One group of MPs and senators said parliament should put on hold its
consideration of the study results while the other group wanted to
first consider approving an associated recommendation by the same
committee that studied the JBC documents.
Government chief whip Witthaya Kaewparadai proposed that parliament
at least approve the five-point recommendation by the committee which
he said should be treated separately from the study results.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who also encouraged members of the
parliament to approve the five-point recommendation, said the
government might have to request a postponement of a new JBC meeting
pending parliament’s consideration of the study results of the minutes.
To acknowledge the recommendation was a way of showing to Cambodia
that Thailand was trying to resolve the border issue through a
bilateral mechanism as it has promised, he said.
But the motion to consider approving the study results of the JBC
minutes was overridden by a new motion filed during yesterday’s session
by Chon Buri senator Surachai Chaitrakulthong.
After that Democrat MP for Songkhla Wirat Kalayasiri submitted
another motion to end the disagreement by voting to decide whether the
study results should be approved by the House.
House Speaker Chai Chidchob then called a quorum count and found
that the meeting lacked a quorum and the vote had to be deferred to
next Tuesday.
The five-point recommendation included that the border survey and
demarcation under the 2000 memorandum of understanding between Thailand
and Cambodia is only a bilateral means of peacefully seeking
collaboration of both sides, and not acknowledgement of the 1:200,000
map made by France.
The committee also recommended that Thailand should switch to
informal negotiations with Cambodian premier Hun Sen as there has been
no progress on previous efforts to demarcate the border with Cambodia.
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