Thai MP permanently banned from politics for using forest reserve land for farm

Pareena Kraikupt

A former MP of Thailand’s Palang Pracharath is now permanently banned from Thai politics for using forest reserve land in Ratchaburi province for her farm. The issues around the MP, Pareena Kraikupt, using land began to surface in 2019. The Royal Forest Department then investigated the land, and concluded that Pareena’s poultry farm encroached on it. The department asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to take action against her.

Thailand’s Supreme Court determined the ruling for the permanent ban on Thursday, although the court had already suspended the MP from all activities last year. Now, Pareena cannot run for political office at any level, national or local. The court said she is also banned from voting in any election for 10 years. A by-election must be held for her House seat in constituency 3 in Ratchaburi within 45 days.

Pareena did not attend the court on Thursday, and her lawyer represented her.

Pareena also risks criminal charges by the Natural Resources and Environmental Suppression Division. Pareena’s poultry farm was determined encroaching on forest reserves, and also on land intended for use by landless farmers. The NACC found Pareena guilty of encroaching on 113.8 hectares of land in total.

Pareena reportedly claimed on her Facebook page that the land had been bought from other farmers. She claimed that the transaction, and the farm’s operation and taxation, were all legal. The court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders found Pareena guilty of severe ethical misconduct.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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