Petition targets Thaksin's daughter

Petition targets Thaksin's daughter

Paethongtan accused of violating ethics

Paethongtan Shinawatra, Pheu Thai Party's chief adviser on participation and innovation (Pheu Thai photo)
Paethongtan Shinawatra, Pheu Thai Party's chief adviser on participation and innovation (Pheu Thai photo)

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is being asked to launch a probe against Paethongtan Shinawatra, a daughter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who now serves as Pheu Thai Party's chief adviser on participation and innovation.

The petition for the investigation has been submitted to the NACC by Sonthiya Sawasdee, an adviser to the House committee on law, justice and human rights and ex-Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) member, a source said on Tuesday. In the submitted petition, Mr Sonthiya accused Ms Paethongtan of violating the ethical code of a political position holder on at least four occasions, said the source.

According to the petition, Ms Paethongtan allegedly cheated in a 2004 entrance examination, was involved in a malfeasance case linked to the Alpine golf course land scandal, vowed to push to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, and had a political connection with Thaksin, a political fugitive living in self-exile abroad.

While Thaksin was prime minister, Ms Paethongtan faced an allegation of cheating in an entrance exam which saw her gain a place in the Political Science Faculty at Chulalongkorn University.

And as expected, say observers, the old allegation has come around to haunt her again after she emerged as Pheu Thai's chief adviser.

The allegation of supporting the amendment of the lese majeste law, meanwhile, is based on a speech she delivered at a recent Pheu Thai political event, in which she reportedly said she was determined to push proposed draft amendments of the law to parliament.

The Pheu Thai Party promptly responded to Mr Sonthiya's move, saying it was politically motivated to discredit Ms Paethongtan.

Theerarat Samretwanich, party spokeswoman and a Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok, said Ms Paethongtan had clearly answered all questions raised over the alleged entrance exam cheating and a committee had cleared her of that allegation.

"She's graduated a long time ago, so what is the point of dusting off this old allegation and using it against her now?" said Ms Theerarat.

As for the Alpine land allegation, the spokeswoman said, the party welcomes any probe into Ms Paethongtan's alleged links to any corruption or malfeasance surrounding the land scandal.

Still, it doesn't make any sense for Mr Sonthiya to accuse Ms Paethongtan of maintaining a political connection with her father as it is impossible for her to completely sever all contact with Thaksin, said Ms Theerarat.

As for the amendment of Section 112, she said, it actually is Pheu Thai's resolution to support the amendment of the law to prevent it from being abused as a political tool to silence people with different political views.

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