07/03/2021

THAILAND DAILY

NEWSPAPER / MAGAZINE / PUBLISHER

government-mp-and-committee-chairman-to-have-his-status-reviewed-by-the-constitutional-court

Government MP and committee Chairman to have his status reviewed by the Constitutional Court

A similar move was made by the court in June last year in respect of influential Deputy Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow but no decision has been handed down yet. In the meantime, opposition MPs want to see Mr Sira suspended from his duties until the court renders its verdict.

The Constitutional Court has taken up a petition signed by 146 MPs in parliament to review the status of Bangkok and Palang Pracharat Party MP Sira Jenjaka after claims were made that the high profile government party house member was convicted of a criminal offence by a court in Pathumwan in 1995 and was therefore eligible to seek election as an MP in 2019. Mr Sira has expressed confidence in his position but emphasised that he will respect any decision handed down by the court in the matter.

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Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka’s status is to be reviewed by the Constitutional Court after it took up a petition this week signed by 146 opposition MPs who say that he was ineligible to have run for election under Section 98 (10) of the constitution in 2019 because of a prior fraud conviction in Pathumwan in 1995.

The position of Palang Pracharat Party MP Sira Jenjaka may be under threat after the House Speaker, Chuan Leekpai, confirmed this weekend, that he had forwarded a petition signed by 146 MPs, more than a third of the House of Representatives, to the Constitutional Court asking that the status of the well known MP be reviewed under Section 98 (10) of the constitution and that the case had been taken up by the court.

Mr Sira is the high profile Chairman of the House Law, Justice and Human Rights Committee. His aggressive role in the recent hearings concerning the Red Bull scandal focusing on the decision by Assistant Attorney General Nate Natsuk not to prosecute Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya earned him widespread acclaim.

High profile Bangkok MP has been controversial

However, his parliamentary career has encountered controversy and in recent times, he threatened to lodge a police complaint against Thai Civilized Party leader, Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, after the pair exchanged heated barbs.

Mr Sira was also front and centre of a high profile campaign calling for an enquiry into an illegal condominium development in Phuket last year during which, in a visit to the province, he became embroiled in a heated exchange with a senior police officer.

Reports of a fraud conviction in Pathumwan

The basis for the petition, which has been organised by the leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party in parliament, Police General Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, is a reported prior criminal conviction.

There are claims that the MP was convicted by the District Court in Pathumwan province in 1995 and sentenced to eight months in prison for fraud.

Reports suggest that the sentence was halved because the Bangkok MP admitted the charge against him before the court.

Under the constitution, this should have disqualified Mr Sira from running for election although the MP has said he is confident of his position but would await the decision of the court.

Opposition calls for MP to be suspended from his duties pending the court’s decision on his status

In the meantime, some opposition MPs are demanding that he be suspended from his duties as an MP until the court renders its final verdict.

‘I will wait and see if the court will order him suspended from duty. There is clear evidence against him,’ Police General Sereepisuth said on Friday.

It is being reported that the Constitutional Court has accepted the petition placed before it which means that the case will be reviewed and a decision should emerge.

Case was thrown out in early January

Earlier, on January 7th, the court had rejected a request to review the MP’s status after only 50 signatures were lodged in December. The court said the number of MPs was not enough under the constitution.

On December 29th, two Pheu Thai MPs, Sakon Nakhon’s Anurak Boonsol and Udon Thani’s Arporn Sarakham, withdrew their names from the initial list of 50 signatures on the petition.

However, the Pheu Thai party pledged to assist further efforts on the matter with other opposition MPs in parliament.

It is not clear what will happen next or the timeframe.

Similar court decision expected in respect of Deputy Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow after his case was taken up last June for review

In June last year, a similar decision was made by the Constitutional Court in respect of controversial claims made in the media particularly in a respected foreign newspaper in Australia concerning Deputy Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow.

He was reported to have served 4 years in an Australian prison decades ago while living under another name, after being arrested in the Bondi area of Sydney in April 1993.

The minister, an MP for Phayao province, has consistently denied the explosive claims made in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Last June, the Constitutional Court took up the case and gave Captain Prompow 15 days to make a submission countering the case made against him.

The court has yet to issue its judgment on that matter.

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Further reading:

Police witness in Red Bull case had talks about witness protection with department at the Ministry of Justice

Prosecutor appears before House committee as Chairman worries for safety of expert witness in the case

Minister has 15 days as the Constitutional Court accepts a petition filed by the house speaker

CSD police investigating ฿20 million bribery claim which a court linked with Thanathorn’s younger brother

Boss Vorayuth criminal case descends into chaos with mounting review panels and extra lines of enquiry

Boss to be charged again with reckless driving causing the death of a policeman after review of the case

Boss Vorayuth case key witness dies riding his motorbike early on Thursday morning in Chiang Mai

Expert stands by evidence that Red Bull Boss Vorayuth’s Ferrari was travelling at 177 km/ph

Strong new evidence suggests that there was no basis to prosecute Red Bull driver ‘Boss’ Vorayuth

Anger at news that Red Bull heir is free to return to Thailand after charge is dropped by Bangkok prosecutor

Prosecutors urge police to track down location of Red Bull heir to allow for extradition proceedings against him

A politically incorrect economic success: Thailand is home to some of the world’s richest people

Government moves to clarify that it is not seeking cash from the kingdom’s richest business leaders in overture

PM calls in business tycoons to help the country crawl back to economic normality after virus

Challenge of defeating both a health and economic emergency a big ask for Thailand’s government in crisis mode

Thailand faces a third shock after the virus if high debt and the informal economy are not prioritised

Richest man in Thailand calls for less time spent at school and a Thai education revolution for a new era

A politically incorrect economic success: Thailand is home to some of the world’s richest people

About the Author

Carla Boonkong is a magazine writer who writes extensively about woman’s issues in Thailand. One of her key subjects is the story of Thailand’s growing influence in the world and the role played by Thai women in the process. She is now a staff writer with Thai Examiner.com in Bangkok. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.

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