Expelled MP says axeing was wrong

Expelled MP says axeing was wrong

Somsak petitions PPRP leader Prawit

One of 21 renegade MPs expelled from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is appealing against the decision, saying he had nothing to do with the moves that led to the group's axeing.

Somsak Phankasem, the MP for Nakhon Ratchasima, has submitted a letter to PPRP leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon calling for his name to be removed from the list of MPs being booted from the party which was released on Wednesday night.

In the eight-page letter, Mr Somsak claimed he and other MPs did not share the former party secretary-general Thamanat Prompow's stance that prompted the party to take such decisive action.

"It is Capt Thamanat who threatened to move against the party if his demand for party restructuring wasn't met. Based on the press conference held by Mr Paiboon, the act deemed to have violated party regulations was solely committed by Capt Thamanat. It has nothing to do with me and the other MPs," his letter said.

In Thursday's press conference, deputy party leader Paiboon Nititawan said the PPRP's executive board decided on Jan 19 to expel Capt Thama­nat and 20 MPs under his control after he demanded the changes and threatened to cause trouble if his demands were not met.

However, Mr Paiboon refused to give details of Capt Thamanat's demand which was found unacceptable by the executive committee.

In the letter, Mr Somsak called on the party to launch an inquiry and questioned whether the decision to expel him was legal.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday the expelled MPs can move to any party including the one that showed them the door.

"There is no legal restriction but it's absurd. The law requires them to find a new party within 30 days and they are free to join any party. It would be absurd for their old party to take them back," he said.

Mr Wissanu said the renegade MPs can challenge the expulsion in the Constitutional Court if they think the process is flawed but they cannot seek dissolution of the party on this basis.

Activist Srisuwan Janya on Friday submitted a petition to the Election Commission (EC) demanding a probe into the legitimacy of the expulsions.

He said the decision had been made without due process and questioned if it was valid because only 61 MPs had attended the meeting.

Mr Srisuwan also called on the EC to consider disbanding the PPRP if it is has violated laws on political parties.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has accepted an EC petition against PPRP MP for Lampang Wattana Sitthiwang who is seeking a re-election in his constituency.

Mr Wattana, who was among the expelled MPs, is required to stop work until after Fed 15 when the court will issue guidance on the matter.

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