Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has promised to press ahead with charter amendment to appease disgruntled red shirt MPs.
However, she said the government needed to wait for the right time to push for its passage.
Several Pheu Thai Party members were upset with the decision by the parliament president to put off a vote on the charter amendment bill during the joint sitting of parliament yesterday.
government source said Ms Yingluck told a cabinet meeting yesterday that the government still stands by its policy of amending the constitution and pushing for the passage of the reconciliation bills.
The source said Ms Yingluck was responding to deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives minister and red shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikuar.
Nattawut disagreed with the premier’s decision to delay a vote on the third reading of the charter amendment bill.
Earlier, the Constitution Court ordered parliament to suspend deliberation of the bill.
Nattawut said delaying the vote was unacceptable to the government’s supporters and such a decision would eventually turn them away from the government.
But Ms Yingluck said the country would not move forward if the government failed to close the parliament session and failed to defuse conflict over the issue.
She stressed the need for the government to foster peace and harmony.
A joint sitting of parliament yesterday failed to support a motion to debate whether the Constitution Court’s order suspending the third reading of the charter amendment bill was binding on parliament.
The motion, which was proposed by Mukdahan Senator Jit Sriyohamukdathanapong, drew fierce opposition from the Democrats.
However, Parliament President Somsak Kiatsuranont eventually asked parliament members to decide whether to take up the issue for deliberation as proposed by the senator.
At the time, 644 parliamentarians were present in the chamber. The motion needed one half of the chamber to support it.
But before the vote, Democrat Party MPs and some other parliament members walked out in protest, leaving only 323 in the chamber.
Parliament voted 319-1 in support of the motion.
It was subsequently dropped as it failed to get the required 322 votes.
There were 146 senators in the chamber before the vote. When the vote was called, only 46 senators remained after the walkout.
A total of 41 voted in favour of the motion with one voting against it.
Two senators abstained and two did not cast their vote.
MPs from the coalition Bhumjaithai Party were also split on the matter.
Those led by Newin Chidchob and by Anuthin Charnvirakul left the chamber while seven MPs of the Matchima faction led by Somsak Thepsuthin and the Ratchaburi faction led by Sora-at Klinprathum voted in support.
Pheu Thai MP for Udon Thani Thiebjutha Khaokham was the only MP from the ruling party who did not cast her vote.
Somsak then called for the deliberation of draft agreements to be signed with foreign countries as required by Section 190 of the constitution.
Before the vote, Somsak stressed that the third reading of the charter amendment bill and deliberation of the reconciliation bills will not take place during the current session.
“My decision was based on the best interests of the country and for the sake of reconciliation,” he said.
Pheu Thai list MP and red shirt co-leader Korkaew Pikulthong said red-shirt MPs in the party were disappointed with Somsak’s decision to put off the third reading.
He said Somsak’s announcement was tantamount to allowing the judiciary to dominate the legislative branch.
The cabinet yesterday approved a draft royal decree to conclude the current parliamentary session on Tuesday, as proposed by the government whips, government spokeswoman Sansanee Nakpong said.
The Secretariat of the prime minister will forward the draft decree to His Majesty the King for endorsement.
Secretary-general of the Council of State Atchaporn Jaruchinda, the government’s legal adviser, said the council has been directed to write to the Constitution Court to clarify confusion about the charter rewrite bid.
He said the government’s charter amendment bill only seeks to change Section 291 of the constitution to create a constitution drafting assembly.
The bill guarantees that the constitutional monarchy will be left untouched following the amendment.