BANGKOK — Campaigning may still be banned by the junta, but some politicians are already accusing their peers of paying for party members and votes.
Accusations were traded as Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam warned Tuesday that campaigning would be tantamount to disturbing peace and order, adding that politicians are also watching out for illegal political activity, not just the government and Election Commission.
Suporn Attawong, a former Redshirt leader turned pro-junta politician accused the Phumjaithai Party of buying party members in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Suporn said 40 residents were offered 50 baht to 100 baht to register as members with the provincial Election Commission.
Calling it a smear campaign, Phumjaithai Party deputy secretary general Supachai Jaisamut on Monday denied that the people allegedly involved were members of his party. He threatened to sue Suporn in response.
Pheu Thai Party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said Monday that the party had learned about similar activities in the same province. He said volunteers were allegedly given ID cards and promised state welfare if they voted for a political party that supports junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s return as prime minister after the next elections, now slated for early 2019.
The party filed a complaint Tuesday morning at the Election Commission in Bangkok.