Bangkok (VNA) – The House of Representatives of Thailand passed the 2020 budget bill with 257 votes in favour, one against and three abstentions at a special session held on February 13 at the Constitutional Court’s request for re-vote.

This budget bill was passed by the lower house in January, but some members of parliament (MPs) were later found to have casting votes electronically elsewhere when the voting took place.

On February 7, the Constitutional Court ruled that the 2020 budget bill is partially constitutional and ordered MPs to vote again on the second and third readings during which illegal proxy voting was found.

At the session on February 13, the vote by section ended at 4:30pm due to problems related to the attendance rate of MPs.

Fiscal 2020 of Thailand began on October 1, 2019. The budget bill, worth over 3.2 trillion THB (102.7 billion USD), was more than four months late due to a delay in the endorsement of general election results in March 2019 and the subsequent formation of the 19-party coalition government. 

It had been feared that any further delays to the passage of the budget could sharply curtail government spending at a critical time when the prospects of a severe economic slowdown are rising.

After the lower house’s approval, voting by the upper house will be a formality./.