By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE RULING PALANG PRACHARATH Party would likely be dissolved if evidently found to have received three million baht worth of grey money allegedly laundered by a Chinese-born, Thai-naturalised businessman who gave it away, said former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn today (Oct. 28).
The polling agency was practically cautioned to see to it that the ongoing probe into the three million baht cash donated to the largest coalition partner from the Thai-naturalised businessman, namely Chainat Kornchayanan, be conducted in prompt, accurate and truthful fashion and without double standards, Somchai said.
He referred to 2020’s dissolution of the Future Forward Party by the Constitutional Court which had delivered a contentious verdict that the opposition party had breached the Political Parties Act by receiving 191 million baht in “donation” from the then-party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who had contended in vain that the money should not have been legally held as a donation but a loan.
The former election commissioner said if the Palang Pracharath Party was evidently found guilty by court of receiving such illegally-gained, laundered money, the largest coalition camp would very likely be dissolved with all executive partisan members including top party leader-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan being banned from the political arena for life under the Political Parties Act.
Others who might as well be politically banned for life upon the possible dissolution of the party include former Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammnat Prompao who has departed from Prawit’s camp earlier this year and Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, who currently acts as head of the party’s strategic campaign team.
Somchai suggested the polling agency find out whether the Chinese-born businessman may have truthfully done any illegal business at all before he donated the money to the Palang Pracharath Party last year and if he did, Prawit’s camp would very likely be dissolved for receiving, albeit unknowingly, the laundered money.
Chainat was arrested following a police raid on an illegally-operated bar which he reportedly has owned in Yannawa area where customers and others were found to have used drugs.
The former election commissioner who currently acts as head of the Thai Liberal Party’s strategic policy-steering campaign team said the entire Election Commission including the polling agency’s secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee who concurrently performs as political parties registrar would be faced with duty-negligence and unethicality charges if found to drag their feet over the sensational case.
Without elaborating, the Palang Pracharath boss today said his party would not be dissolved due to such a legal battle involving the donation from the Chinese-born donor whom nobody among the rank and file of his party personally knew.
Top: Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn with a logo of Palang Pracharath Party at left. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Palang Pracharath Party leader-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Thai Rath