FM Don cleared of constitutional violation by Constitutional Court
Don Pramudwinai’s post as the foreign minister is intact after the Constitutional Court on Wednesday found him not guilty of violating a provision of the charter regarding his wife’s shareholding in excess of five percent in a private company as alleged by a member of the Pheu Thai party.
The court ruled with a majority vote that Mr Don’s wife Mrs Nareerat, who had held shares exceeding five percent of the stakes of Panawong Company and Panawong Realty Company, had transferred a portion of the shares to their son within the 30-day period as constitutionally required, leaving her shareholding to only 4 percent.
According to the charter court, Mr Don formally assumed cabinet’s portfolio on April 6, 2017 which coincided with the promulgation of the 2017 Constitution. On April 10, 2017, his wife, Mrs Nareerat, notified the transfer of 4,800 out of 7,200 shares that she owned in Panawong Company to their son, Mr Puen, with actual transfer being done in a transfer document dated April 27.
Another lot of shares, 2,700 out of 3,500 shares in Panawong Realty Company were transferred to their son on April 30, 2017.
The case against Mr Don was raised by Mr Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a legal advisor of the Pheu Thai party, to the attention of the Election Commission. He accused Mr Don of not disclosing to the National Anti-Corruption Commission his wife’s holding of more than 5 percent stakes in the two firms as required by the Constitution.
After the reading of the court’s ruling, Mr Don told the media that he had spent the last six months preparing documents to defend himself in the court.
With the court case being finalized, he said he would now concentrate on his work, citing that there are several important events awaiting such as Thailand’s Asean chairmanship on November 15.
Citing poor health, the foreign minister said he would not accept any political posts after the election, but would be happy to provide counselling on foreign affairs if requested.