FFP to be probed over bribery claims

FFP to be probed over bribery claims

MPs 'offered bungs' to pick Prayut as PM

A group of Future Forward Party MPs claimed to have been offered 30-120 million baht each to vote for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister, at their party headquarters on June 4. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A group of Future Forward Party MPs claimed to have been offered 30-120 million baht each to vote for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister, at their party headquarters on June 4. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Election Commission has accepted a petition against the Future Forward Party (FFP) over claims by some of its MPs that they were offered money to vote for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister, the EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong said on Monday.

Mr Ittiporn said the EC had acknowledged the complaint from activist Srisuwan Janya and would now determine if there are sufficient grounds to proceed with an investigation.

"No facts in the case have been established yet," he said.

The EC's fact-finding team will decide whether the case should be pursued further, according to Mr Ittiporn.

When asked if the case would eventually lead to the dissolution of the FFP if the claims are proved false, the EC chairman insisted it was too early to say what would happen.

Mr Srisuwan submitted the petition with the EC last week, urging it to probe claims made by 13 FFP MPs that they had been offered up to 120 million baht each to switch sides and vote for Gen Prayut to become prime minister.

The 13 lawmakers said at a briefing last Tuesday they had been offered 30-120 million baht each to vote for Gen Prayut instead of Mr Thanathorn last Wednesday.

During the prime ministerial vote, none of the FFP's MPs voted for Gen Prayut.

Gen Prayut garnered 500 votes while FFP leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, gained 244 votes. There were three abstentions.

Gen Prayut needed at least 376 votes, or more than half the total number of 750 MPs and senators to remain as prime minister.

Mr Srisuwan said earlier that the act of buying MPs' votes was akin to attempting to topple the rulers of the country by means other than those prescribed in the constitution and is grounds for the dissolution of a party.

The activist urged the FFP to take legal action against those who allegedly made the offers without delay.

He insisted this would help clear the FFP's name amid criticism that it had held the briefing for political gain ahead of the prime ministerial vote, he said.

Failure to do that could lead to the removal of its executives. They could be fined 50,000 baht each and banned from politics for five years, Mr Srisuwan added.

Earlier, Taopiphop Limjittrakorn, one of the MPs who made the claim, insisted he was being truthful.

He maintained he had been offered 120 million baht and several of his fellow MPs who were also approached have evidence to substantiate their claims.


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