Srettha denies chiding MPs for lobbying over police reshuffle

Srettha denies chiding MPs for lobbying over police reshuffle

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has denied telling a meeting of Pheu Thai MPs on Tuesday that some party MPs had interfered in the appointment of police station chiefs.

Media reports said Mr Srettha made the remarks when discussing a plan to have new police station chiefs help people settle debts with loan sharks.

Speaking at Government House yesterday, he denied making the remarks about the reshuffle at Tuesday's meeting with Pheu Thai MPs.

A video recording of the meeting suggests otherwise. He was seen saying that new station chiefs would settle with loan sharks to support the government's efforts to help people with debt problems. Then he said: "You here [MPs] requested the appointment of many station chiefs. Some of you were satisfied, and others were not."

The prime minister yesterday said he was actually discussing MPs' concerns about the performance of officials in some areas as they battled the drugs trade.

"MPs did not make any such requests," Mr Srettha said. "I have no authority over [the reshuffle] and have never interfered in the promotion of any government officials or police officers.

"When I said some people were satisfied and others were disappointed, I was referring to their feelings about the performance of officials," he said.

Democrat MP Chaichana Detdecho, chairman of the House committee on police affairs, said the committee would ask the prime minister to clarify the issue at a meeting on Dec 7.

He said Section 185(3) of the constitution prohibits MPs and senators from influencing promotions or transfers of any government official.

Mr Chaichana said Mr Srettha's remarks, if true, could land him in hot water for violating the constitution.

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome said he believed the prime minister accidentally made the remark, and the saga raised doubts about the transparency of police promotions and transfers. Mr Rangsiman said he was checking whether the PM's remark fell under Section 185 of the constitution and laws on ethics and police affairs.

Do you like the content of this article?