Sira Jenjaka, a former Bangkok MP for the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, accused Surachart Thianthong of violating the electoral law by promising to push for a flat transit train fare of Bt20.
The ruling party politician claimed what the candidate did constituted an offence under Article 73 of the law, which prohibits “any deception or persuasion that is misleading about the candidate’s popularity”.
“An MP has no power to make that possible,” Sira said, referring to the flat fee of Bt20 promise. “So I am here to ask the EC to investigate if this candidate has violated the electoral law.
“If elected, he is going to become an opposition MP, and not the transport minister,” Sira said, adding that even the minister would need to repeal related concession contracts, which would lead to a lot of legal issues.
Sira’s wife Saranrat is contesting the by-election in the city’s Constituency 9 (covering Lak Si district and part of Chatuchak district) against Surachart and candidates from six other political parties.
The vacancy was created after the Constitutional Court unseated Sira in a verdict handed down in December that his 1995 conviction for fraud meant he was not qualified to contest the March 2019 general election. The Constitution bars anyone with a criminal conviction from standing for election to the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister Trairong Suwankhiri, a senior figure in the coalition Democrat Party, on Thursday voiced his support to Kla Party secretary-general Attawit Suwannapakdee, his former Democrat colleague who is also contesting the by-election.
Trairong said he gave Attawit his blessing and wished him an election victory when the latter called on him.
The veteran politician said a “quality politician” like Attawit was needed to help improve the quality of Thailand’s House of Representatives. “He is a man of reasons. He does not use expletives, tell lies or incite. Also, he is very knowledgeable,” Trairong said in praise of Attawit.
In a related development, Pheu Thai organised a training session for its election volunteers on Thursday to prevent possible fraud and ensure a fair and orderly vote.
The training was conducted by the party’s executives, legal experts, and former EC deputy secretary-general Krit Uawong.
The participants, who are to be dispatched to all polling stations in Sunday’s by-election, are expected to observe the voting — from the start until the vote count — and report any suspected irregularities.
Published : January 27, 2022