SRT governor's selection questioned

The Office of the Ombudsman has been asked to investigate the legality of the selection and appointment of Prapat Chongsa-nguan as new governor of the State Railway of Thailand.

The request was filed with the office by Nakhon Machim, a Democrat Party MP for Phitsanulok.

The cabinet recently approved the Transport Ministry's appointment of Mr Prapat as the new SRT governor.

Mr Nakhon said that a committee of the SRT, the transport minister and the cabinet might have broken the law in the selection and appointment of Mr Prapat to the position.

When Mr Prapat applied for the job, he still held a political post. He was serving as a vice minister attached to the Transport Ministry. This was prohibited by the law.

Also, Mr Prapat had never served as an executive of an organisation which made an annual profit of at least 5,000 million baht - a qualification which an applicant is required to have.

Mr Prapat was wrong when he claimed that while serving as an executive of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand the organisation's profit for the years 2005-2006 totalled 9,600 million baht, he said. In fact, during that period, Mr Prapat was only an adviser to the MRTA.

Therefore, he wanted the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate, Mr Nakhon said. He said a similar petition had been filed with the Administrative Court and National Anti-Corruption Commission by some other people.

Ombudsman's spokesman Raksakecha Chaechai said the petition would be examined and forwarded to the chief ombudsman for a decision on whether to accept it for further consideration.

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