By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE ELECTION COMMISSION was today (Jan.19) petitioned to investigate an alleged breach of the law on the part of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party by having earlier held an undue activity in support of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, head of the Thai Liberal Party’s policy-steering campaign, filed the petition for the Election Commission to investigate and judge whether the event in which the political activity held by the Ruam Thai Sang Chart on January 9 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre may have practically violated the relevant law.
According to Somchai, a former election commissioner, the suspicious activity included the event in which the brand-new camp had evidently managed to bring thousands of people from the provinces to the Bangkok venue with the use of over 100 tour buses and vans to attend with the highlighted introduction of Prayut as partisan candidate for prime minister in the next general election.
The Ruam Thai Sang Chart has allegedly breached the law by evidently giving away some 4,000 T-shirts and caps bearing the party’s name and logo to those attendees during the Prayut-promoting campaign allegedly organised under the pretext of the party’s extraordinary caucus, Somchai alleged.
In addition, Somchai called on the polling agency to judge whether the event in which a music artist showed up on stage and sang songs evidently written in support of Prayut and the party and a former cabinet member-cum-veteran ex-Democrat MP unduly mentioned the monarchy whilst launching a scathing speech against his political opponents may have practically violated the law.
According to the former election commissioner, all Ruam Thai Sang Chart executive board members and electoral candidates including Prayut, if finally found guilty by court as charged, could possibly be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison or a maximum of 200,000 baht in fine or both and being immediately banned from all political activities for up to 20 years.
Meanwhile, Veera Somkwamkid, head of the Thai Liberal Party’s anti-corruption campaign, said the Election Commission could possibly be faced with duty-negligence charges if the polling agency dragged their feet over the sought-after investigation into the debatable electoral campaign.
The petitioners have given the polling agency a 30-day time to finish the probe beyond which they would otherwise take legal action against the commissioners, Veera said.
The investigation into the alleged wrongdoing of the pro-Prayut party would not be complicated or be a time-consuming process, given pieces of evidence enclosed in the petition, he said.
Top, below and Front Page: The Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party event at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre held on Jan. 9, 2023. Photos: Thai Rath
Insert: Mr. Somchai Srisutthiyakorn. Photo: Matichon