Political activist Srisuwan Janya on Thursday vowed to file a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) over a statement Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin reportedly made that some Pheu Thai Party MPs had interfered in the appointment of police station chiefs.
According to media reports, the PM told party MPs during a meeting on Tuesday that some people would be happy and unhappy with the results of the upcoming appointment of new police station chiefs because there weren't enough vacancies for every candidate from the party.
Critics say the remark was an acknowledgement of interference in the appointment of police station chiefs.
Mr Srettha has vehemently denied this as untrue. He said he did not say so, and all he said about the police at the meeting was that the police's suppression of loan sharks was part of the government's policy to deal with debt problems.
Mr Srisuwan, however, said the PM had "seriously violated" the ethical code of political position holders. He said he would submit his petition today along with the evidence against Mr Srettha.
Mr Srettha's remark clearly showed that the PM, in his capacity as chairman of the Police Commission, had abused his authority in a way that interfered with the promotion of police officials, he said.
Such interference is prohibited under Section 185(3) and Section 186 of the 2017 constitution about the violation of the ethical code of holders of a political position, he said.
Mr Srettha yesterday reiterated his previous response to the allegation, saying he didn't meddle in the police appointment as accused. He said he would respond to any questioning by the authorities.
When asked about a call by Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, a former national police chief, for the PM to resign over the allegation, Mr Srettha paused for a moment before smiling and saying: "Next question, please."
Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, a list-MP of the opposition Move Forward Party, said he will push the House committee on police affairs to probe the PM's alleged interference while waiting to file a motion requesting a debate on the allegation during the coming new House session.
"Since [the PM] has already admitted 80% [of the alleged interference], he had better get the remaining 20% done by saying who those MPs lobbying for police station chief positions are," he said.
If the NACC finds grounds to the allegations, forwards the case to a court, and the court finds the PM guilty, he will be banned from politics for 10 years, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former election commissioner, said.