By Thai Newsroom Reporters
CARETAKER PRIME Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan and Thai Economic Party leader Thammanat Prompao might possibly be kept out of politics for a number of years and the biggest coalition party might possibly as well be dissolved if found guilty of alleged involvement in last year’s handing out of kickbacks in cash to MPs of six splinter parties.
Thai Liberal party leader Seripisut Temiyavej confirmed today (Sept. 13) Prawit as top leader of Palang Pracharath Party and Thammanat as former secretary-general of the largest coalition partner might possibly be punished by being legally banned from the political arena if found guilty of involvement in the alleged allocation of “bananas”, figuratively referring to hard cash, to those splinter-party MPs in exchange for their votes of support for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and other cabinet members during last year’s censure/no-confidence motion.
The “bananas” were allegedly handed out at the Pa Roi Tor Foundation office located in the premises of the First Infantry Regiment which also houses the residence of the caretaker premier-cum-top leader of the Palang Pracharath Party.
The Palang Pracharath leader was allegedly directly involved in the handing out of some 100,000 baht in monthly payoff to each of the recipient MPs of the six splinter parties whilst Thammanat who currently is top leader of the Thai Economic Party performed as secretary-general of Prawit’s party at the time, according to Seripisut who today testified before a fact-finding committee of the Election Commission pertaining to the “banana-feeding” case which he has filed against them.
Pieces of evidence purportedly compiled against the recipients and providers of the “bananas” include bank slips for cash transfers. The Election Commission is dutifully obliged to forward the case coupled with material and personal witnesses as well as results of the investigation to the Constitutional Court for final judgement.
If finally found guilty as charged, not only the top leaders and executive members of those splinter parties but those of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party including the top leader and the former secretary-general could possibly be banned from politics for a number of years and have their respective parties dissolved by court.
The Thai Liberal Party’s policy steering director Somchai Srisutthiyakorn called on the polling agency to see to it that the “banana-feeding” case be forwarded to the Constitutional Court well before the next general election is held so that those defendants, if finally found guilty by court, will not be legally allowed to contest it.
The general election is largely expected early next year following the dissolution of the House of Representatives speculated around yearend this year.
Top: Caretaker Premier-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan and Thai Economic Party leader Thammanat Prompao. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Thai Liberal Party leader Seripisut Temiyavej. Photo: INN News