A general-election candidate of a small political party on Tuesday called for the Election Commission (EC) to revoke the electoral rights of his party leader, claiming that he had been sacked by a state agency over a corruption charge.
Kongkrit Chuesrisakul, a parliamentary candidate of the Prachatham Thai (Thai People Justice) Party, claimed that the party’s leader, Pichet Sathirachawan, was also a board member and a shareholder of seven media companies.
The law bans an election candidate from owning shares in media firms, and also prohibits anyone who was dismissed from a government agency on a corruption-related charge from running.
Kongkrit asked in his motion to the EC that it should investigate the matter and cancel Pichet’s electoral rights if the claims were found to be accurate.
“Pichet was well aware that he was not qualified by law, however he still applied to run in the March 24 national election. Penalties for the offences are a jail term of between one and 10 years and a fine of between Bt20,000 and Bt200,000, as well as revocation of electoral rights for 20 years,” Kongkrit said.
He also claimed that Pichet – Prachatham Thai’s party-list candidate number 1 – had asked the party’s candidates to advance their own money for running their campaigns, with a promise to pay it back.
However, he said, Pichet repaid only the application fee of Bt10,000 to each candidate, while the election expenses of the party’s 20 candidates were estimated to total about Bt150 million.
The candidates had tried unsuccessfully several times to contact Pichet about this, Kongkrit added.