Bangkok MFP MP defends against sexual harassment claims, refuses to resign

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Bangkok’s Move Forward Party (MFP) MP, Chaiyamphawan Manpianjit, more popularly known as Puaut, who was recently admonished by the party for alleged sexual harassment claims, voiced his respect for the party’s decision yesterday. At the same time, he defended his innocence and declined to step down despite growing calls for his resignation.

This controversy follows the expulsion of fellow party member, Wuttiphong Thonglour, MP for Prachin Buri, over similar charges.

Chaiyamphawan was saved from expulsion on Wednesday, November 1, but the outcry for him to resign has been escalating.

The MP took action to vindicate himself by presenting to a press conference the LINE chat log between him and one of the three female accusers.

He maintained there was no harassment involved. Chaiyamphawan added that all supporting evidence was already submitted to the party’s executives for review.

The MP also addressed the allegations made by a second assistant, who claimed he had taken photographs of her without consent. Chaiyamphawan explained that it was the assistant’s idea for him to capture those images for promotional purposes on social media during the previous election campaign.

As for the third assistant who accused Chaiyamphawan of inappropriate touching, the MP suggested a possible misunderstanding of his intentions, which he claimed were not of a sexual nature. He extended an apology for any perceived disregard of sexual boundaries, which might have resulted in discomfort, and vowed to prevent such incidents in the future, reported Bangkok Post.

Chaiyamphawan revealed that he received a letter from the party instructing him to publicly apologise “sincerely” to the women involved by the end of today and to provide them with timely compensation. The letter also warned him to abstain from any further ambiguous physical or textual interaction with female staff members.

The party letter further noted that if Chaiyamphawan failed to comply with these directives, the MFP would initiate an additional investigation, which could potentially lead to his expulsion from the party.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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