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House Speaker orders probe into bribery allegation ahead of no confidence vote

Thailand’s House Speaker Chuan Leekpai has ordered a formal investigation into the allegation, made by Pheu Thai MP Visarn Techateerawat, that a group of MPs each received a five-million-baht bribe in exchange for voting for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow (Saturday), the end of this week’s censure debate.

Dr. Sukit Atthopakorn, an advisor to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, told the media this morning (Friday) that Mr. Chuan feels that the alleged bribery has tarnished the image of the House of Representatives and ordered the House secretary-general to investigate, after he had personally inspected the room in which the offence is alleged to have taken place yesterday.

Mr. Visarn, an MP representing the northern province of Chiang Rai, made the allegation during the censure debate in Parliament, claiming that it occurred in the prime minister’s room on the third floor of the parliament building.

Dr. Sukit said that he hopes Mr. Visarn will cooperate fully with the House’s probe.

Meanwhile, Palang Pracharat MP for Nakhon Sawan, Veerakorn Kamprakob, said today that he was among the group of MPs who met the prime minister in his room yesterday, to offer him their moral support.

Regarding Visarn’s allegation, he said that he has asked Mr.Ruangkrai Likitwattana, a party member, to lodge a complaint against the Pheu Thai MP with the National Anti-Corruption Commission, for allegedly making a false accusation against the prime minister.

Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjaka said he would like Mr. Chuan to instruct parliamentary officials to examine the CCTV footage taken from and around the prime minister’s room, to find out if there was any suspicious activity or evidence which could support the allegation of giving or taking bribes before tomorrow’s vote at the end of the no-confidence debate.

He also said that those MPs should resign if it can be proved that they had received the bribes.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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