Wissanu: Nawat no longer MP after conviction for murder

Wissanu: Nawat no longer MP after conviction for murder

By-election will be held in Khon Kaen constituency 7

Convicted Pheu Thai Party MP Nawat Tohcharoensuk boards the prison truck at Khon Kaen provincial court after he was sentenced to death for masterminding a murder, on Tuesday. (Photo by Chakkrapan Natanri)
Convicted Pheu Thai Party MP Nawat Tohcharoensuk boards the prison truck at Khon Kaen provincial court after he was sentenced to death for masterminding a murder, on Tuesday. (Photo by Chakkrapan Natanri)

Pheu Thai Party MP for Khon Kaen Nawat Tohcharoensuk lost his seat immediately he was convicted and sentenced to death for murder, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday.

The constitution stated clearly that MPs lost their status when convicted of a criminal offence. Therefore, Nawat’s tenure as an MP was now voided, even though the appeal process was not finalised, Mr Wissanu said.

The Election Commission would schedule a by-election for his seat, the deputy prime minister said.

Mr Wissanu said the number of list MPs for political parties would not be recalculated because the case did not concern electoral fraud.

The Khon Kaen provincial court on Tuesday sentenced Nawat, Khon Kaen constituency 7 MP of the opposition-core Pheu Thai Party, to death for masterminding the murder of an assistant chief of the Khon Kaen provincial administration organisation in 2013. The court denied his bail request. An appeal is automatic in the case of a death sentence.

Parliament President Chuan Leekpai said on Wednesday he had asked parliamentary legal officials to clarify if Nawat should lose his MP status right away.

Mr Chuan said opinions were split on the issue. The constitution drafters were of the view Nawat had already lost his seat, but some people disagreed.

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, the Pheu Thai chief strategist, said on Wednesday the party would let the law govern the Nawat case.


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