Prayut’s new party has no shady business links, insists aide
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s United Thai Nation Party (UTNP) has nothing to do with any shady businesses, said PM’s Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
The declaration was in response to claims made by an opposition MP during last week’s general parliamentary debate.
Thanakorn said on Monday that Prayut does not want his party to launch any lawsuits, but said UTNP would have to eventually protect its name if the opposition does not stop its “unfounded” attacks.
Thanakorn, who has been working closely with Prayut as government spokesman and later as a Cabinet member, was referring to claims made by Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome.
In the debate, Rangsiman said the UNTP headquarters are located on land belonging to a senator with the Thai initial “Or”.
The MP claimed that this senator is allegedly wanted by police for suspected involvement in drug trafficking. He said an arrest warrant had been issued for the senator but was later downgraded to a summons on grounds that he is a parliamentarian.
On Friday, senator Upakrit Pachariyankun filed a defamation lawsuit against Rangsiman, seeking 100 million baht in damages.
Thanakorn, meanwhile, said on Monday that UTNP was renting the building in line with the law. He added that the party does not consider who owns the building important, as long as it’s being rented lawfully.
He said UTNP has told Prayut that the owner of the building does not face any legal action.
“The UTNP has never been involved in any shady businesses,” Thanakorn reiterated.
Prayut left the ruling Palang Pracharath Party to join UTNP to contest as its PM candidate in the upcoming election.
“The prime minister, who is also the defence minister, has declared that legal action will be taken against anyone involved in shady businesses.
Thanakorn added that Prayut wants the topic to be dropped, “but if they don’t, our lawyers will consider lawsuits against them”.