Opposition party forms new subcommittee to remove Thammanat

FILE PHOTO: A new subcommittee will investigate embattled Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompaew.

The opposition party has created a new subcommittee to push for the removal of embattled Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thammanat Prompaew after the Constitutional Court’s ruling last week that he is fit to serve despite his Australian drug trafficking conviction. The Court ruled that the minister, a member of the Palang Pracharath Party, is qualified despite spending 4 years in prison in Australia in 1994.

Move Forward Party member of Parliament Thiratchai Phanthumat is the spokesperson for the House Committee on Suppression and Prevention of Corruption and Misconduct. He heads the new subcommittee and is investigating and pursuing legal action against Thammanat for various allegations and accusations of misconduct.

Hiding information about his Australian criminal record before receiving royal decoration and joining the cabinet could be a violation of ethical code. The subcommittee also seeks to learn more information about the drug smuggling between Thailand and Australia which resulted in Thammanat’s prison sentence. The leader of Seri Ruam Thai chairs the House committee and confirmed that there are still 3 years before the expiration of the statute of limitation on Thamanat’s 1993 drug conviction.

The subcommittee is requesting the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, along with any other state agency with information or involvement, to share their data and further investigate.

The Constitutional Court had given Thammanat a pass saying that convictions and jail sentences must be from Thai courts, as foreign courts cannot make legally binding rulings in Thailand. The conviction in the New South Wales Court in Australia therefore would be disregarded in the consideration of whether or not Thammanat was eligible to hold his cabinets post or any other political position.

51 Move Forward Party members of Parliament, opponents of the PPRP, had petitioned for Thammanat’s removal after details resurfaced regarding his heroin smuggling conviction and prison sentence in Australia.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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