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No-confidence debate begins in Thailand’s Parliament

February 16, 2021 GMT
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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha takes off his mask before the start of a no-confidence debate at the parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. The opposition parties are targeting 10 Cabinet​ ministers with allegations ranging from poor management to corruption. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha takes off his mask before the start of a no-confidence debate at the parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. The opposition parties are targeting 10 Cabinet​ ministers with allegations ranging from poor management to corruption. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

BANGKOK (AP) — Opposition parties in Thailand on Tuesday began debating a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and nine members of his Cabinet who face accusations of mismanaging the economy, bungling the provision of COVID-19 vaccines, abusing human rights and corruption.

It is the second no-confidence debate that Prayuth’s government has faced since taking office in July 2019. In February last year, Prayuth and five Cabinet ministers easily turned back a no-confidence vote in the lower house. All 10 being grilled this year are expected to coast through again with the backing of the governing coalition.

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The current debate is scheduled over four days, with voting to take place Saturday.

On the first day, the opposition parties concentrated on Prayuth, accusing him of responsibility for the government’s alleged failures.

“I’m not afraid of anything,” Prayuth said in defending himself. “This is a good opportunity for both sides to do something together for our country and people. And I am ready to clarify every allegation.”