Ex-MPs’ dinner party a banned political activity, PM says

politics June 13, 2017 18:57


THE prime minister on Monday denied any prior knowledge of a security operation that shut down a dinner meeting of 50 former MPs at a hotel in Bangkok last weekend.

While stressing that such a political activity was still prohibited, General Prayut Chan-o-cha said he had not been aware of the dinner nor the operation until it was on the news.

“Everything is about the appropriateness. If you want to hold a dinner party, you have to see whether it is involved in political matters or not,” Prayut said yesterday at a daily press briefing after the weekly Cabinet meeting. 

“The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will consider them. But sometimes we are tipped by the people and we have to examine.”

The PM said that such an activity where politicians met in |a big group remained prohibited. Certainly, politics would be discussed, Prayut said.

“I beg, please don’t do it now. Don’t cause any chaos or |confusion because it will affect my work today,” he said.

Political activities such as public assemblies or political party meetings had been banned by the NCPO who seized power since 2014. 

Violation of the ban on political gatherings of more than five people is punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to Bt10,000.

Last Saturday, a dinner party attended by some 50 former MPs ended quickly when police raided the hotel saying that a suspicious object, which could be a bomb, had been found. The former MPs were evacuated from the hotel. 

It was widely speculated that the bomb scare was a ruse by security officials who did not want them to gather for political purposes.