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Senior Parliament officials removed for ‘losses to state’

Jul 10. 2016
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By The Nation

The National Legislative Assembly has dismissed two high-ranking Parliament officials for allegedly committing serious disciplinary offences that caused damage to the state.

NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai endorsed the dismissal of Parliament deputy secretary-general Khunnawut Tantrakul for allegedly failing to protect the state’s interests based on the delay in the construction of the new Parliament.

The dismissal order, effective Friday, stated that Kunnawut delayed calling a meeting to relocate soil for the project, causing a cost overrun and building delay.

The NLA president also endorsed the dismissal of Somchart Thammasiri, a Parliament legal adviser and chairman of the Parliament Club, for approving a Bt3.4-million loan from the club to the House of Representatives’ secretariat to produce sacred items for sale. The club has yet to get back Bt2.9 million of the loan.

Both men have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Somchart said he would appeal the decision to prove his innocence, saying he had no ill intention of self-gain related to the loan. He said that the loan contract clearly said the principal would be paid back to the Parliament Club from the sale of sacred items and profits would be put into a Parliament welfare fund.

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