Outspoken Thai MP Sira Jenjaka loses status in Constitution Court ruling

Outspoken Palang Pracharat MP for Bangkok Sira Jenjaka has lost his parliamentary status, after the Constitutional Court ruled today (Wednesday) that he was unqualified to contest the election in the first place because he had been convicted of corruption by the Pathumwan district court and the verdict was final.

The court voted 7:2 to find Sira, a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, unqualified to become an MP, dating back to the election on March 24th, 2019, in accordance with Sections 101 (6) and 98 (10) of the Constitution.

The court said that there is sufficient evidence to make a ruling in Sira’s case, without the need for further hearings.

Although, after the conviction of Sira by the Pathumwan district court, a law was promulgated to clear the MP of the conviction, the court ruled that the law could not cleanse the court’s record of conviction.

The court’s ruling means that a by-election will have to be held within 45 days.

The Election Commission can also proceed with legal action against Sira, for allegedly contesting the election knowing that he had no right to do so, an offence which is subject to 1-10 years imprisonment and a fine of 20,000-200,000 baht on conviction.

If found guilty, he could lose his election rights for up to 20 years.

Besides losing his parliamentary status and the grim prospect of being sued by the Election Commission, Sira may have to return all monies he and his assistants received from the parliament over the past three years.

The financial office of the House of Representatives is checking how much money it has paid to Sira and his assistants during his tenure.

These include his basic salary plus positional fees, amounting to 113,560 baht per month, meeting and travel allowances as well as the salaries of his seven assistants, ranging from 15,000 -20,000 baht a month, dating from the first day they received the pay checks until today, when the court made the ruling.


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