Pheu Thai calls for disbandment of Palang Pracharath

Pheu Thai calls for disbandment of Palang Pracharath

Chusak Sirinil, right, legal affairs head of the Pheu Thai Party, is in a press conference at its headquarters in Bangkok on Wednesday. He accused the government of favouring the Palang Pracharath Party in the March 24 election. (Photo supplied)
Chusak Sirinil, right, legal affairs head of the Pheu Thai Party, is in a press conference at its headquarters in Bangkok on Wednesday. He accused the government of favouring the Palang Pracharath Party in the March 24 election. (Photo supplied)

The Pheu Thai Party on Wednesday accused the government of raising salaries of village-based health care workers to benefit the Palang Pracharath Party's election campaign and also called for the disbandment of the pro-military party.

Key members of Pheu Thai held a press conference at their headquarters in Bangkok to attack the cabinet's decision on Dec 4 last year to spend its contingency budget on raising the salaries of more than 1 million health care workers nationwide from 600 baht to 1,000 baht.

The payment was executed on March 20-22, including a retro-effective sum of 3,000 baht for the workers, a few days ahead of the March 24 election.

Chusak Sirinil, legal affairs head of Pheu Thai, said the payment appeared to serve political interests and encourage eligible voters to vote for the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o as its prime ministerial candidate.

"When the cabinet resolved to raise the salaries of health workers, many executives of the Palang Pracharath Party remained as cabinet ministers... That showed the cabinet exercised its power to favour a political party and made the election unfair," Mr Chusak said.

The contingency budget was actually intended to be used for immediate disaster relief, he said.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Vechayachai said those in power were trying to prolong their authority.

Chavalit Wichaisut, Pheu Thai's winning election candidate in Nakhon Phanom province, said that during vote campaigns, PPRP representatives told people that money would go to village-based health workers.

Meanwhile, Narong Roongthanawong, Pheu Thai's information chief, asked the Election Commission to seek a court order to disband PPRP because Chanwit Wiphusiri, PPRP's election candidate in Bangkok, ran in the election while holding shares in a media company.

He called for the party's disbandment, saying Mr Chanwit was an executive of PPRP. The MP election law prohibited election candidates from holding shares in media companies. 


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