Expect vote buying to be 'rampant', warns Chuan

Expect vote buying to be 'rampant', warns Chuan

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai on Sunday predicted that vote-buying will be rampant in the coming general election as some politicians continue to mix money with politics.

Mr Chuan said a poll conducted by parliament showed that respondents were concerned about corruption and called for measures to address the problem.

''When it comes to money politics, politicians will seek political gain in an unscrupulous manner.

''If MP candidates spend money [buying votes], where do they get it from? It is obviously from someone who is rich enough to give them the money,'' Mr Chuan said.

''We have to campaign and tell people that if they want a decent government, they must choose decent MPs.

''If they want an honest government, they must vote for honest MPs. If you voted in corrupt people, you get a corrupt government, and the problem will befall the people and the country.

"In the next election, we must not vote for corrupt politicians,'' Mr Chuan said.

He also admitted he was concerned that money politics and corrupt politicians would lead to the military staging another coup.

Chuan: Concerned by money politics

''The current constitution which has been touted as being designed to stamp out graft has still failed to achieve that goal as corruption continues to rise,'' Mr Chuan said.

Mr Chuan also noted that several parties are now focused on voters in the South despite the region not having many House seats up for grabs compared to other regions, particularly the Northeast.

''In the past, money politics did not play a big role in the region. But recently, it has spread to the region while the financial standing of southern people is also changing as they experience economic hardships and earn less.

''I once wrote to inform Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha that the earnings of people in the South, such as in Ranong and Trang, were declining at an alarming rate,'' continued Mr Chuan.

''When they earn less, their lives also change. Politicians have now stepped in and spend money. It costs them less money [buying votes in the South] than in other regions.

"That's why several politicians are flocking to the region,'' he added.

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