EDITOR’S PICK: BANGKOK- Activist to provide fresh Thanathorn loan evidence

Activist Srisuwan Janya says he will on Monday submit additional evidence to the Election Commission (EC) to investigate whether Future Forward Party (FFP) leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit broke the law by giving a loan worth over 100 million baht to his own party.


Mr Srisuwan, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, said the new evidence involves the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s (NACC) disclosure yesterday of assets and liabilities of a group of 80 MPs, including Mr Thanathorn.

Of the MPs, 79 reported the information on the occasion of assuming duty and the other reported when he left office. According to the NACC, Mr Thanathorn is the richest MP, with a net worth of 5.6 billion baht.


Mr Thanathorn reported assets of 5.6 billion baht and liabilities of 683,000 baht. He was suspended as an MP shortly before the House convened, pending a ruling on his media shareholding case by the Constitutional Court, according to the NACC. Future Forward was listed as one of his debtors, with credit lines totalling 191.2 million baht in two contracts, according to the anti-graft agency.

One contract had a credit line of 161.2 million baht, to be repaid in three years at 80 million, 40 million and 41.2 million baht respectively. The other contract had a credit line of 30 million baht, 2.7 million of which was drawn upon signing the contract. It will be repaid in one year, the NACC said.

In his petition against Mr Thanathorn, which was submitted to the EC on May 21, Mr Srisuwan cited Section 66 of the organic law on political parties, which bars any individual from donating or giving money, assets or interests to parties in excess of 10 million baht a year.

Mr Thanathorn, a scion of the Thai Summit Group, an auto-parts conglomerate, told a forum at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand on March 15 that he gave the loan to help finance the election campaign.

Mr Thanathorn admitted that it was simply not possible for the FFP to have been able to raise enough funds in time for the March 24 election, as the party had only been established on Oct 3 of last year.

For the sake of transparency, Mr Thanathorn said he did not wish to give away “free money”, so he lent it to the party which was open about the issue and made it known how the money would be spent.

If found guilty [of violating the law on campaign donations], he could be jailed for up to five years and see his election rights stripped for five years, Mr Srisuwan said.



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