Activist questions legality of PPRP, Prawit meeting

Activist questions legality of PPRP, Prawit meeting

Political activist Srisuwan Janya yesterday accused the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) of unlawfully using the offices of a charitable organisation for political purposes and called for an immediate investigation into the matter.

He was referring to a number of key PPRP figures led by chief government whip Wirat Rattanaset who met Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon at the offices of the Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation Project (East Region) on Monday to formally invite him to become the new party leader. Gen Prawit reportedly accepted the invitation at the meeting.

According to Mr Srisuwan, the foundation has been used for several other political activities besides Monday's meeting, despite the organisation's own constitution forbidding its involvement in political matters.

This specific clause was highlighted by the Interior Ministry's permanent secretary in his capacity as the foundation's registrar on Feb 28, 2016, said Mr Srisuwan who is secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution.

And since the foundation's office is located on the base of the army's 1st Infantry Regiment, King's Guard, on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road, Monday's meeting between Gen Prawit and the PPRP figures may also be in breach of Defence Ministry regulations on conflict of interest, said Mr Srisuwan.

He also urged the permanent secretary for the interior and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate whether the foundation had broken any law or violated its own code of conduct.

However, Paiboon Nititawan, an acting deputy PPRP leader, denied the meeting was illegal, saying if that were the case politicians would be prohibited from visiting all non-political organisations, including the office of the Election Commission.

If anyone really believes the visit was illegal, he or she should not be reluctant in pursuing legal action against the people involved, he said referring to Mr Srisuwan's call for a probe.

Mr Paiboon said he was one of the figures who met Gen Prawit on Monday.

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