Complaint filed against Thamanat over by-election campaign speech

Complaint filed against Thamanat over by-election campaign speech

Thiwach Damkaew, second left, candidate of the Move Forward Party in the Jan 16 by-election in Songkhla's constituency 6, shows his complaint letter filed with the election committee on Wednesday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)
Thiwach Damkaew, second left, candidate of the Move Forward Party in the Jan 16 by-election in Songkhla's constituency 6, shows his complaint letter filed with the election committee on Wednesday. (Photo: Assawin Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: The Move Forward Party candidate in the approaching by-election in constituency 6 of this southern province, Thiwach Damkaew, on Wednesday filed a complaint against Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) secretary-general Thamanat Prompow, accusing him of violating the Election Act.

Mr Thiwach, accompanied by campaign team members, submitted his complaint to Payia Sirichote, director of the Songkhla election committee.

The Move Forward candidate said that in a speech at a campaign rally for his PPRP rival, Anukul Prueksanusak, on Jan 7, Capt Thamanat promised to give money to people in trouble.

In doing so, Capt Thamanat might have violated Section 73 of the Election Act of 2018 prohibiting a candidate or party representative from promising to give a handout in exchange for support, he said.

Since Capt Thammanat is secretary-general of a political party, if he were found guilty the PPRP might also be found to be in breach of the Political Party Act of 2017, Mr Thiwach said.

Kusol Te-asan, chief investigator of the Songkhla election committee, accepted the complaint for consideration. 

The House seat in Songkhla's constituency 6 was made vacant when the Constitutional Court ruled that the incumbent, Thavorn Senniam, was ineligible because he was among five core members of the former People's Democratic Reform Committee found guilty of insurrection during protests that led to the 2014 coup.

Mr Thavorn was sentenced to five years in prison by the Criminal Court.

The by-election to select his replacement is on Jan 16.

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