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Prayut told to keep scandal-hit senior official out of active duty 

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha has been suggested by noted academics to suspend a senior government official involved in an attempted payoff scandal from active duty or else the former’s reputation might be considerably damaged by the latter.

Chulalongkorn University political scientist Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee yesterday (Apr. 7) advised Prayut remove Seksakol Atthawong, assistant to the Prime Minister’s Office Minister, from the current role of heading a government subcommittee tasked with the combating of the overpriced  sales of government lottery tickets given a viral video clip in which he had allegedly demanded some 15 million baht in kickback cash during a casual talk with another government official attached to Government House.

Siripan suggested that Prayut see to it that Seksakol will practically keep a low profile pending investigation into the payoff scandal even as government measures are being taken against the illegal distribution of government lottery tickets and overpriced sales. 

Thammasat University political scientist Prajak Kongkirati yesterday remarked that such a kickback-seeking scandal could probably discredit Prayut ahead of a no-confidence motion which is yet to be filed against the premier and other cabinet members upon the reopening of parliamentary sessions next month.

Seksakol is not only viewed as an assistant to the Prime Minister’s Office Minister but a founder of a brand-new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party which has offered to pit Prayut as a candidate for head of a post-election government, according to the academic.

In his capacity as assistant to the Prime Minister’s Office Minister based at Government House, Seksakol is invariably viewed as a close aide to Prayut and could possibly damage the reputation of the premier who is yet to go through the opposition’s censure debate, Prajak commented.

Seksakol earlier confirmed that his little-known party will certainly name Prayut for prime minister again if the ruling Palang Pracharath Party fails to do so.

The former MP of Nakhon Ratchasima, known to have planned to seek reelection in the next race to parliament, categorically dismissed the attempted bribery, saying he was merely “joking” about it.

Prayut has so far remained non-committal toward the attempted payoff scandal surrounding Seksakol, saying it remains to be seen whether he will be finally found to have perpetrated such a severe breach to the code of ethics as alleged.

House Committee On Corruption and Misconduct chairman Seripisut Temiyavej earlier said Prayut could probably be held accountable for Seksakol’s alleged misconduct if he chose to do nothing about it sooner than later.

The Seripisut panel has already accepted a petition for investigation into the payoff scandal which he said would be “very easy” to conclude, given verbal evidence pertaining to the alleged money talk.


Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, and senior official Seksakol Atthawong with the logo of the new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party in the background. Photo: Matichon

Home Page: Seksakol Atthawong. Photo: Naewna

Also read: Prayut on shaky ground over Seksakol’s alleged payoff bid

Anti-graft panel being asked to probe official over alleged lottery payoff

 Prayut-rescuing payoff scandal reconfirmed

Watana sentenced to 99 years jail in payoff scandal

Certain opposition MPs offered handsome payoffs from coalition partner: Thaksin

Bhumjaithai MP ordered to discontinue legislative duties over payoff scandal


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