MP seen viewing nude photo says: 'It was a set-up'
Parliament cannot punish an MP seen looking at an "inappropriate" photo on his phone during a House session because it was a personal matter, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said on Thursday.
However, if a complaint is lodged, parliament might consider whether the MP had breached the code of ethics for parliamentarians.
Ronnathep Anuwat, a Palang Pracharath MP for Chon Buri, was spotted by reporters looking at a photo of a naked woman on his phone while attending Wednesday's House session to debate the 2021 budget.
Mr Chuan said he would issue a warning to Mr Ronnathep, having already told MPs to be careful about what they do during House meetings as the media is watching them.
However, he viewed the incident as a personal matter and not a contravention of parliamentary regulations, so parliament could not punish the MP, he said.
Mr Chuan said it was the first time a complaint had been lodged about an MP looking at inappropriate photos in parliament.
The MP for Chon Buri is spotted looking at a photo of a naked woman on his phone. (TV Screen Capture)
Previously, complaints had only been made about MPs wearing inappropriate clothing in parliament.
Mr Ronnathep yesterday claimed he had been targeted by political rivals intent on discrediting him.
Media reports that he was looking at a nude photo had badly affected him and his work, he said.
People now believed he used his mobile phone to look at photos of naked women and this was stressful. In fact, it was not true, he claimed, adding that he had been "set up".
The MP said he received a message on his phone while attending Wednesday's House meeting and he had opened it, unaware it contained a nude photo.
The message appeared to be asking for money to buy food but then it suddenly displayed the nude photo and he immediately deleted both the message and the photo, he said.
Mr Ronnathep said he had political opponents and believed one of them was responsible for setting him up.