Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s opponents suggest he might face legal troubles following his apparent comments about his party MPs influencing police promotions. These issues could potentially lead to his removal from office and loss of electoral rights.
Srisuwan Janya, a petitioner, announced on Thursday his intention to request the National Anti-Corruption Commission to initiate an ethics investigation into Prime Minister Srettha’s remarks at a recent Pheu Thai Party MPs gathering.
It has been reported that during this meeting, Prime Minister Srettha mentioned the success of some MPs in advocating for certain individuals to become new police station chiefs, while others were unsuccessful.
According to Mr. Srisuwan, this speech violates Section 185(3) of the constitution, which forbids MPs and senators from influencing government official promotions or transfers, and prohibits ministers from interfering in government officials’ duties. He plans to submit a formal petition on Friday.
Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, an MP from the opposition Move Forward Party, interpreted the speech as a confession. He mentioned that it wasn’t challenging to pinpoint the newly appointed police station chiefs who were backed and the politicians who offered that support.
Mr. Wiroj commented on Prime Minister Srettha’s claim of misunderstanding regarding his speech, noting that such inconsistency could affect the credibility of his future statements.
During election campaigns, Prime Minister Srettha had pledged to eliminate cronyism, as pointed out by an opposition MP.
Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former election commissioner, expressed on Facebook that the prime minister could be accountable for breaching multiple constitutional sections. He referred specifically to Sections 185 and 186.
Mr. Somchai mentioned that the constitution grants the National Anti-Corruption Commission the authority to investigate abuses of power by political position holders that breach the constitution, and to seek verdicts from the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.
He noted that if such a case is taken to court, the accused must be suspended from duty. A guilty verdict would lead to removal from position, a 10-year voting ban, and a lifetime ban from running for office.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Srettha reiterated his non-involvement in police promotions or transfers. When asked about Prime Minister Srettha’s controversial speech, Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsuthin declined to comment.