EC to probe Thaksin call to ex-MPs

EC to probe Thaksin call to ex-MPs

The Election Commission is launching a probe into the Pheu Thai Party's alleged violation of the constitution's organic law on political parties, which prohibits a party from consenting to influence by an outsider, an offence that may lead to party dissolution.

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Election Commission (EC) secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma, in his capacity as the party registrar, said Sunday he had assigned, his deputy, Sawaeng Boonmi, who is in charge of the EC's investigation concerning party affairs, to conduct a probe into ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's latest known role in Pheu Thai.

The investigation is aimed at finding out if Thaksin's video call last week to a number of former Pheu Thai MPs in the northeastern province fits the definition direct or indirect influence by an outsider on a party, banned under Sections 28 and 29 of the organic law on political parties, said Pol Col Jarungvith.

A video clip of Thaksin, reportedly made from London on Thursday, shows he told the former Pheu Thai MPs he was confident the party would win in all constituencies in the Northeast in the next election.

Thaksin was also quoted as saying that he would next tweet to thank those former MPs defecting from Pheu Thai because they had sacrificed their chances for the new faces whom would replace them.

He also said anyone else contemplating leaving the party should leave now for the money they might be offered by rival parties. They should also quit politics for good as he believed only a fool would pay them that much money.

As for those who were confident they won the past elections because of their own popularity, they would have to think again and would then realise that it actually was the popularity of the party that helped them win, Thaksin said in the call.

Depending on the outcome, the EC could forward the findings of its probe to the Constitution Court along with a request to have the party dissolved, said Pol Col Jarungvith.

Jarungvith: Ready to conduct probe

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