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Democrat Party reshuffle urged

BANGKOK: Former Democrat secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban urged the party’s executive committee to show responsibility for the sexual misconduct accusations against its disgraced former deputy leader, Prinn Panitchpakdi, to restore public confidence in the party.

sexpolitics
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 27 April 2022, 10:26AM


A coalition of activists carry messages denouncing sexual violence as they move from Suntiphap Park to Victory Monument yesterday (Apr 26). The protest was organised amid the sex scanal facing ex-Democrat deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi. Photo: Apichit Jinakul

A coalition of activists carry messages denouncing sexual violence as they move from Suntiphap Park to Victory Monument yesterday (Apr 26). The protest was organised amid the sex scanal facing ex-Democrat deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi. Photo: Apichit Jinakul

Mr Suthep said changing the line-up of the committee could be just what the party needs in the wake of the sex scandal that has engulfed it in recent days.

He also said if House Speaker and Democrat chief adviser Chuan Leekpai decided to step in and “take care of the party” himself, it would shore up the morale of party members, reports the Bangkok Post.

Mr Suthep said Mr Chuan, a former party leader who commands wide respect, epitomes what the Democrat Party stands for - integrity, respect for the law and strict adherence to democratic principles.

Mr Suthep’s remarks came after Kanok Wongtrangan quit as another deputy party leader and Mallika Mahasuk stepped down as party executive in the wake of a series of sexual misconduct allegations involving Mr Prinn.

Ms Mallika resigned in a letter she submitted to Sutham Rahong, the Democrat director, without stating a reason. Mr Kanok said he felt morally obligated to make the gesture.

Mr Suthep also stressed that he was only giving his personal opinion and that he had no intention of interfering with the party’s affairs, while also extending moral support to former colleagues.

Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit yesterday thanked Mr Chuan and party members for their support as he stood firm on his position that the party would get through the current debacle.

“I believe the problem will eventually resolve itself if we all join hands. In every crisis, there is an opportunity. Problems can arise but it’s our job to close ranks and work them out,” he said.

He said the Democrats have much work ahead including the Bangkok gubernatorial election on May 22 and the by-election in Ratchaburi.

A group of ex-Democrat MPs in the North issued a statement yesterday giving Mr Jurin and other party executives their moral support.

Mr Jurin recently stepped down as head of two government panels on women and gender policies amid pressure from rights activists but stopped short of resigning as party leader.

Prinn yesterday met police in Phetchaburi’s Muang district to acknowledge another sexual harassment accusation made against him by an ex-staffer of a political party.

He told reporters he denied all of the allegations and would fight the charges. The provincial court released him on bail set at B200,000.

Police said the woman lodged a complaint on Apr 16 accusing Mr Prinn of sexually harassing her at a party in 2020.

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JohnC | 28 April 2022 - 08:36:02

The whole political system in this country desperately needs a reshuffle as do the laws which still favour men over women in all aspects of life in the LOS.

 

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