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EC should investigate whether Thaksin meddled in Pheu Thai’s affairs: Prawit

Oct 22. 2018
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By The Nation

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The Election Commission should investigate to see whether former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra had recently interfered in Pheu Thai Party’s internal affairs in violation of the law, Deputy Premier and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said on Monday.

Meanwhile, a senior EC official said the agency would need to “look into the matter in detail” before it could determine whether the former PM had violated the Political Parties Act.

“I haven’t seen the full interview yet, so I can’t tell if the law was violated. We need to look into this matter in detail,” said Krit Urwongse, deputy secretary-general of the EC.

The new law governing political parties prohibits interference in their internal affairs by non-members. 

Violating individuals risk a jail term and a political ban, while violating parties could be dissolved.

Thaksin recently forecast that Pheu Thai, in which he has retained much influence, would win some 300 out of 500 seats in the House of Representatives in the next general election.

Prawit, who is in charge of security affairs, also maintained on Monday that the election would “certainly be held in February next year”.

Asked by Government House reporters whether Thaksin’s remark had caused any political impact, Prawit replied that all parties were being affected. 

When asked if the EC should investigate this matter, he said: “The media should prod them to do so.”

The deputy PM was also asked to comment on a planned lecture by Thaksin at a university in Sweden early next month, which has been viewed as his latest political move. 

He responded by saying that Thaksin had often made such moves throughout the past four years.

He also noted that the fugitive former prime minister was facing many criminal cases stemming from his tenure in power, although one of the cases had seen its statute of limitations expire on October 21.

He added that under a revised law, however, corruption-related cases now had no statute of limitations.

Thaksin has been in self-exile since 2008 after fleeing the country shortly before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders sentenced him to two years in jail for abuse of power while in office.

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