Jurin won't stand down over Prinn affair

Jurin won't stand down over Prinn affair

ASSESSING THE DAMAGE: Chuan Leekpai, current parliament president and former Democrat Party leader, attends the party's annual assembly yesterday after Jurin Laksanawisit maintained he will not step down as leader over the sex scandal involving ex-deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi.
ASSESSING THE DAMAGE: Chuan Leekpai, current parliament president and former Democrat Party leader, attends the party's annual assembly yesterday after Jurin Laksanawisit maintained he will not step down as leader over the sex scandal involving ex-deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi.

Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has resisted calls to stand down as Democrat Party leader over the sex scandal involving former deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi, claiming it's his duty to tackle the problem.

Asked by reporters whether he would resign as leader to show responsibility over the issue, Mr Jurin said: ''Responsibility that goes beyond the limit can become irresponsibility.

''When problems arise during my stint [as party leader], I will not shift the responsibility onto others.

"We are duty-bound to tackle problems without running away. This is [the principle] we adhere to,'' Mr Jurin said after attending the party's general assembly yesterday.

Mr Jurin, who also serves as commerce minister, said Mr Prinn had resigned from all party posts and ''the party's executive board has no duty to take responsibility beyond its limits''.

The executive board has set up a committee to find out the facts in Mr Prinn's case and find ways to prevent future similar incidents, Mr Jurin said.

''We must show responsibility by solving the problem,'' he said.

Mr Jurin said he explained the issue to the general assembly, and those in attendance understood his reasoning.

Last week, former Democrat deputy leader Witthaya Kaewparadai resigned from the party and demanded its executive committee do the same following the sexual misconduct accusations against Mr Prinn.

He said the scandal had damaged the party's reputation and he hoped its executives would do more to maintain high ethical standards having been the ones, along with party leader Mr Jurin, who made the decision to elevate Mr Prinn to the key party role of deputy leader.

Mr Prinn resigned from that position as well as his assignment as head of the Democrats' operations for the Bangkok governor and city council election to fight the allegations.

As of last Wednesday, 15 women had filed police complaints of gross misconduct, including both sexual harassment and rape claims, against the embattled politician, as the police probe into his conduct continues.

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