3 ex-Bhumjaithai MPs banned for life for proxy vote

3 ex-Bhumjaithai MPs banned for life for proxy vote

Officials inspect readiness before a parliament meeting is held. (File photo)
Officials inspect readiness before a parliament meeting is held. (File photo)

Three former Bhumjaithai Party MPs have been slapped with life bans prohibiting them from contesting elections or holding political office again for proxy voting during the second and third readings of the 2020 budget bill.

The Supreme Court ruled that Chalong Thoetwiraphong, a former Phatthalung Constituency 2 MP, Phumsit Khongmi, a former Phatthalung Constituency 1 MP and Natee Ratchakitprakarn, a former list MP, deliberately breached ethics by allowing other lawmakers to use their electronic voting cards during the bill readings between Jan 10-11, 2020.

Mr Chalong and Mr Phumsit were suspended as MPs on Sept 3, 2021, when the court accepted the case forwarded by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). Ms Natee lost her MP status in a false asset declaration case before the lawsuit was filed.

Chalong: Breached ethical code

In its ruling, the court said the three politicians failed to take any action that would prevent others from using their cards, investigate to find those who did or report the proxy voting to the House Speaker.

They claimed they had other engagements, but this did not justify them leaving their cards with others, and their arguments could not disprove the allegations of proxy voting, the court said.

The life ban against the three followed a Supreme Court Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders ruling last May in which each of the trio was sentenced to nine months in prison over the charge. They were released on bail pending an appeal.

The proxy voting questioned the validity of the 2020 budget bill, and the Constitutional Court ordered a fresh vote on the budget proposal.

Phumsit: Suspended as MP in 2021

Natee: Lost MP status for hiding assets

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