Share:By Marie Argan
BANGKOK – Thailand’s anti-monarchy MP was forced to pull out of his election campaign after he admitted to watching porn and to speeding ahead of his duties.
Former deputy speaker Damananprayong Sukhartiti said he had no memory of an on-off election campaign in which dozens of MPs were arrested in a crackdown on political “grey cars”.
Local media reported on Tuesday that Damananprayong was accused of having watched porn while driving to an election rally in central Bangkok, outside of the Thai constitution which guarantees the monarchy. Media said he refused to come out after being warned to leave the party, and was told to report to another centre for 24 hours or be removed from the Election Commission list.
News of Damananprayong’s latest admission and the entire incident were reported separately in Thai newspapers.Damananprayong’s campaign poster showed him bearing a phoenix feather tattoo with the words: “If I’m able to take this ribbon away from you, so is you.”
But a spokesman for Thailand’s Anti-Corruption Commission said he was unable to recall his explanation of “missing time”. An AFP correspondent in Bangkok reported finding Damananprayong walking away from his campaign offices after receiving a call from party members.
“He said he had missed a few calls after being taken to an election station, which he really doesn’t recall,” said Thai Defence Minister Apej Somkuwan.“That’s a pretty bizarre excuse.”
It was not immediately clear what punishment could be handed down against Damananprayong, although if he is found guilty and removed from the commission list, it could see him suspended or run in an election.
Earlier, police jailed dozens of MPs at Bangkok’s Muharram Stadium for five years for sparking the corruption crisis after they failed to inform a court that they had attended a political rally.
Thailand has been on the front line of two years of bitter anti-government unrest in which opposition protests left six people dead and thousands injured in the capital. A failed coup and civil unrest in 2014 killed more than 2,000 people and forced Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to implement martial law.