EC responsible for probing Thaksin’s alleged interference in Phue Thai: PM Prayut

Only the Election Commission can decide whether ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s influence on Pheu Thai Party is against the election law or not, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

He was responding to questions over recent meetings between Thaksin and key figures of Phue Thai Party in Hong Kong.

“It’s a matter of appropriateness whether they should or should not go there and do that. But whether it is lawful or unlawful, it’s the EC’s duty [to investigate and decide on],” said Gen Prayut.

Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said he had more important work to do than to pay attention to Thaksin’s appearance in Hong Kong.

The minister, however, admitted that he was aware of Thaksin’s movements overseas, saying it was the police’s duty to seek to have fugitive Thaksin extradited to Thailand to face criminal charges.

On Oct 21, 2008, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced Thaksin in absentia to two years in jail, convicting him of violating the National Counter-Corruption Act in the Ratchadaphisek land purchase case.

He was charged with abusing his authority while prime minister to facilitate his then-wife Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra’s purchase of 33 rai of land on Thiam Ruam Mit Road in the Ratchadaphisek area from the Bank of Thailand’s Financial Institutions Development Fund (FIDF) at a discounted price of 772 million baht in 2003.

The organic law on political parties, meanwhile, prohibits interference in the affairs of political parties by outsiders.

A video clip of Thaksin addressing a gathering of his family, friends and supporters at a party for him in London in July sparked controversy over his alleged interference in Phue Thai.

With the election planned for next year, Thaksin said in the video clip that Pheu Thai would return to power.


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