Under-fire MFP MP 'Puaut' refuses to quit

Under-fire MFP MP 'Puaut' refuses to quit

Chaiyamphawan: Claims innocence
Chaiyamphawan: Claims innocence

An opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) MP for Bangkok, who has received a caution from the party following a probe into allegations of sexual harassment, on Friday said he respected the party's decision yet denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign despite being pressured to do so.

Calls have been mounting for Chaiyamphawan "Puaut" Manpianjit, the young MP who was on Wednesday spared expulsion, to resign after his fellow MP for Prachin Buri Wuttiphong Thonglour, who faced a similar allegation, was thrown out of the party in a vote among party executives.

To prove his innocence, Mr Chaiyamphawan yesterday showed a press conference the Line chat log between him and one of the three female complainants to prove there was no harassment involved, he said, adding that all this evidence had already been submitted to the party's executives.

As for the second assistant, who claimed Mr Chaiyamphawan had snapped photos of her without her permission, the MP said it actually was the assistant's idea for him to take those pictures of her for use in creating social media content aimed at promoting him on social media during the past election campaign.

The third assistant who accused Mr Chaiyamphawan of touching her inappropriately may have misinterpreted his intention, which was not sexual in nature, he claimed and offered an apology for paying insufficient attention to sexual boundaries that may have made her feel uneasy.

He promised that would never happen again.

Mr Chaiyamphawan said he had been ordered by a letter from the party to apologise "sincerely" to the women in public by today, compensate them in a timely manner and avoid any further ambiguous physical or text contact with female staff.

The letter also stated that if the MP failed to adhere to these instructions, the MFP would launch a further probe, which could result in him being expelled from the party.

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