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Mysterious Meeting

Democrats call on Yingluck to explain Four Seasons meeting

The Democrat Party yesterday demanded that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra come clean on her private meeting with businessmen at the Four Seasons hotel after the Ombudsman said it likely involved a conflict of interest.

"I don't want anyone to make gossip, but the PM has to tell the truth, as the meeting was referred to as a conflict of interest, corrupt and unethical, which will lead to impeachment," Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said.

Not only was the controversy about a conflict of interest, but also about sexual impropriety, which would disgrace her honour, he said.

On Monday, Ombudsman Sriracha Charoenpanich spoke about the progress of the ethical-conduct inquiry.

The statement of Ekayuth Unchanbud, a real-estate businessman and the owner of the Thai Insider website, conflicted with the other businessmen's statements, so the office needs to investigate further, he said.

"We might have to go to the field, to the Four Seasons meeting room again," he said.

Srettha Thaveesin, president of Sansiri, who joined the private meeting, has given a written statement, Sriracha said, but declined to reveal the substance of the letter as it might affect the inquiry.

Yingluck could assign someone to represent her in her official duties while she is attending to other matters, but the office would have to weigh the importance, he said.

According to the investigation so far, it seems that Yingluck was involved in a conflict of interest, he said, adding that he needed more information to make a judgement.

The Four Seasons meeting has become a hot issue for the opposition, which is seeking the truth as to how the meeting was so important that Yingluck had to skip the parliamentary session on February 8.

The meeting was later confirmed by Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, who is also the finance minister. He acknowledged that he was also at the meeting on the seventh floor of Four Seasons with a group of real-estate businessmen, including Srettha.

It was a gathering to discuss the economic and political situations, Kittiratt said.


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