Ex-Pheu Thai MP accused of murder can run in polls: EC

politics December 07, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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A FORMER Pheu Thai Party MP, wanted in connection with the alleged murder of a local administrator in Khon Kaen, cannot be prohibited by law from contesting in the upcoming election, a senior election official said yesterday.



Apinan Chan-uppala, director of the Election Commission (EC)’s Khon Kaen office, pointed out that the province’s former MP Nawat Tohcharoensuk has not been convicted or jailed for a criminal offence. 

The current Constitution, in effect since April last year, prohibits anybody convicted or those who have been out of prison for less than 10 years from contesting in an election. 

“There has been no final court verdict in his case, so he is still eligible to contest,” the official said. 

Nawat is fighting a lawsuit that accuses him of being the mastermind behind the murder of Khon Kaen Provincial Administrative Organisation’s chief administrator Suchart Kotthum in 2013. An arrest warrant was issued against the former MP in April. 

Separately, Nawat allegedly assaulted a party colleague at a recent Pheu Thai Party meeting held to select election candidates. 

He supposedly got upset and kicked a fellow party member, who was expected to replace him as a Pheu Thai candidate in his home province of Khon Kaen. 

The colleague, Thanik Maseepitak, who was reportedly at the receiving end of Nawat’s anger, declined to comment on the matter yesterday, saying it was the party’s internal affair. 

“It’s a matter within our family. The party’s seniors are already taking care of it,” he said.

Nawat could not be reached for comment yesterday either, but Thanawin Phanthunaso, who looks after the politician’s house in Khon Kaen’s Nong Rua district, said he did not believe allegations of his boss assaulting a colleague. 

“He is very kind to me,” he said.