Nipit asks why MPs omitted Natee's name from proxy voting case

Nipit asks why MPs omitted Natee's name from proxy voting case

Bhumjaithai party-list MP Natee Ratchakitprakarn (left) talks to a party colleague in parliament on July 3, 2019. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Bhumjaithai party-list MP Natee Ratchakitprakarn (left) talks to a party colleague in parliament on July 3, 2019. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Democrat politician Nipit Intarasombat has questioned the motives of lawmakers from both camps for excluding Bhumjaithai party-list MP Natee Ratchakitprakarn from their petition to the Constitutional Court in the proxy voting case.

The party deputy leader, who is a not an MP, on Thursday demanded explanations from the coalition and opposition parties of their decision to cite only Chalong Therdwiraong, a Bhumjaithai MP for Phatthalung, for registering a vote for the budget bill without being present.

He claimed evidence showed that Ms Natee passed through immigration at Suvarnabhumi airport at the same time voting was in progress during the House budget session on Jan 11, according to Thai Post. And yet her vote was registered.

Mr Chalong beat Mr Nipit by a landslide when they ran for the same seat in Phatthalung during the general election.

The former Democrat MP for Phatthalung dropped a bombshell on Jan 20 when he revealed his political nemesis was not in the House of Representatives during the voting on the budget bill on Jan 10-11. Mr Chalong later admitted he was in Phattalung for a funeral.

Two days later, Mr Nipit exposed the absence of Ms Natee from the parliament during the voting process.   She is a party-list MP for Bhumjaithai, also based in Phatthalung, and the wife of Mr Pipat, the minister for tourism and sports.

MPs from the government and the opposition then asked the charter court in separate requests to rule whether the budget bill's passage through parliament remained valid in the light of the revelation of proxy voting.

The court on Wednesday ordered Mr Chalong and two other MPs -- Prim Poomcharoen of the Palang Pracharath Party and Somboon Zarum of Bhumjaithai -- to submit their explanations of the proxy voting in writing by next Tuesday.

Ms Prim and Mr Somboon were seen in video recordings released by Channel 7 each inserting more than one card in the electronic voting machines. House secretary-general Sorasak Pienvej was also ordered the explain the issue to the court.

The court did not mention Ms Natee when announcing it would accept the case for deliberation.

Mr Sorasak on Thursday explained that the two petitions, from the coalition and opposition parties,  forwarded to the court by House Speaker Chuan Leekpai identified only Mr Chalong as being involved in proxy voting.

Ms Prim and Mr Somboon were ordered to make an explanation to the court because they were seen in the video recording, he added.


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