Probe finds PM didn't pay MPs for votes

Probe finds PM didn't pay MPs for votes

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

A probe by the House secretariat office has found there are no grounds to an allegation against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha claiming he paid 5 million baht to a number of MPs in exchange for their votes of support.

Sukij Atthopakorn, an adviser to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, said the investigation has found no evidence backing up the claim by Wisarn Techathirawat, a Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Rai.

Mr Wisarn made the allegation during a no-confidence debate on Sept 2, prompting Mr Chuan to order the probe.

Dr Sukij said the committee interviewed Mr Wisarn among others and examined documents pertaining to visits to parliament by Gen Prayut and his aides, but found no evidence to support the allegation.

It submitted its findings to Mr Chuan on Dec 28.

Meanwhile, Somkid Chuakong, a Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani, said the opposition plans to seek a general debate to grill the government over its handling of national affairs this month and will seek a censure debate at the next House session.

Mr Somkid said Pheu Thai will ask the Constitutional Court to rule on Gen Prayut's maximum eight-year tenure to resolve the debate about when it ends.

The opposition believes it must expire on Aug 24 while the prime minister's supporters insist his term technically began on June 9, 2019, when his premiership received royal endorsement under the 2017 constitution, meaning he would be entitled to serve until 2027.

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