Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana on Monday petitioned the Election Commission to investigate two cabinet ministers he accuses of owning shares in companies through their wives, in breach of the constitution.
If substantiated, it could lead to them losing their cabinet seats.
According to Mr Ruangkrai, Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chaiya Promma and Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang allegedly violated Sections 170 and 187 of the charter because their spouses hold significant numbers of shares in limited partnerships.
The two sections stipulate that politicians and their spouses may not own shares in a company while holding cabinet positions.
Mr Chaiya was appointed to his position on Sept 1, he said.
His wife, Anchalee Promma, a key principal in Sri Boonrueng Wattana Limited Partnership, notified the Department of Business Development (DBD) on Sept 16 that the partnership had received a capital increase payment of 300,000 baht from Athisthan Promma, Mr Ruangkrai said.
Ms Athisthan is Mr Chaiya’s daughter.
Ms Anchalee's role in the limited partnership could be proof that she was still a partner and a manager in the partnership, he said. Therefore, Mr Chaiya could be disqualified from the cabinet under Sections 170 (5) and 187 of the constitution if found guilty by the Constitutional Court, he said. (continues below)
Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chaiya Promma
He said Mr Sutin, was appointed defence minister on Sept 1, and Chaweewan Klungsang, his wife, was still named in the DBD database as a managing partner, a key principal of Klungsang Esan partnership, as of Nov 3.
The limited partnership's shares had an estimated value of 1.2 million baht, and Ms Chaweewan held shares worth 1 million baht of that total as of Nov 3, he said.
As such, the shares held by Mr Sutin’s spouse could be deemed as the minister’s shareholdings in the same partnership, he said.
He also said the number of shares held by Ms Chaweewan was suspected to be more than 5%, which is prohibited by the constitution.
He had therefore petitioned the EC to investigate these two cases and forward them to the Constitutional Court for consideration, Mr Ruangkrai said.