11 July 2024

The Thai Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders sentenced Palang Pracharath MP for Bangkok Thanikan Pornpongsaroj to one year in prison today (Wednesday), suspended for two years, and fined her 200,000 baht after finding her guilty of allowing another MP to use her ID card to vote in parliament.

Thanikan was ordered to cease her duties as an MP by the Supreme Court in August last year after the court accepted the case against her, which was filed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The incident occurred in 2019 during a vote concerning royal medals. Thanikan was not present, but she gave her ID card to a colleague to vote on her behalf.

The court ruled that voting is the personal right of each MP when he or she is present in the parliament chamber. Allowing another MP to vote on his or her behalf is a violation of Article 120 (paragraph 3) of the Constitution and Rule 72 of the parliamentary regulations regarding meetings.

The court said, however, that the reason that Thanikan could not attend the House meeting to vote was because she was elsewhere giving a talk on the role of mothers in the digital era.

Because the case is not serious, this is the MP’s first offence before and she has never been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the court agreed to one-year imprisonment, but suspended that for two years.

Thanikan has the right to appeal the ruling to the general assembly of Supreme Court judges within 30 days.

Because the case is not yet concluded, her parliamentary status remains intact.