Move Forward reviews fate of shamed city MP

Move Forward reviews fate of shamed city MP

Party executives revisit sexual harassment saga

Move Forward Party leader Thawatchai Tulathon
Move Forward Party leader Thawatchai Tulathon

The Move Forward Party (MFP) is meeting again to decide whether to expel its Bangkok MP accused of sexually harassing three assistants after he showed no remorse over his indecent actions, according to party leader Thawatchai Tulathon.

Mr Thawatchai said on Facebook on Saturday he will call a meeting of party executives to decide if Chaiyamphawan "Puaut" Manpianjit has acted in line with a conduct ultimatum the party passed on Nov 1.

That day, the main opposition party executives and MPs gathered to decide the cases of harassment against two MPs -- Mr Chaiyamphawan and MP for Prachin Buri, Wuttiphong Thonglour.

The meeting expelled Mr Wuttiphong from the party but stopped short of doing the same to Mr Chaiyamphawan on account of his expulsion vote not exceeding two-thirds of the executives and MPs in attendance -- criteria stipulated by the constitution in expelling a party MP.

Mr Wuttiphong was issued an ultimatum by the party: to repent, offer a sincere apology in public to the women by Nov 3, compensate them in a timely manner and avoid any further ambiguous physical or text contact with staff.

However, Mr Thawatchai said the MP failed to show remorse and apologise and may have caused further damage to the women concerned by mentioning some details of the allegations in public.

As party leader, he has summonsed a meeting of party executives to discuss whether Mr Chaiyamphawan has defied the ultimatum. If so, he would be deemed to have grossly broken the party's rules. In that case, the party executives and MPs will convene to decide if he will be axed from the party.

Even though Mr Chaiyamphawan has declared that he accepted the party's decision on his conduct, he did not show he was sorry nor did he admit to any harassment behaviour. He also failed to apologise sincerely to the women.

The MP also revealed a text message between him and the first assistant to underscore his claim that the woman did not resist interaction with him.

With the second assistant, Mr Thawatchai tried to convince the public that the photos and video clips he took of her do not constitute as sexual harassment.

In the case involving a third assistant, the MP made it sound as though his coming into physical contact with her had no sexual motive.

Mr Thawatchai said the MP was downplaying his relations with the assistants. However, the party executives maintained that harassment with the first assistant on at least one occasion took place while she was intoxicated, which rendered her unable to resist.

The executives also found Mr Chaiyamphawan's motive questionable as he took the intoxicated assistant back to his condo.

Also, the MP had twice invited the second assistant on an upcountry trip alone with him. The assistant turned down the invitation as the trip had nothing to do with work.

The MFP leader said the third assistant alleged the MP made an advance on her, which made her quit after one month.

Do you like the content of this article?