Junta Party Threatens to Sue Thanathorn Over Bribery Remark

Supporters of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit rally in Uttaradit province on April 30, 2019.

BANGKOK — A pro-junta party on Friday rejected Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s claim that it offered to clear him of all criminal complaints if he offered them seats in parliament.

Phalang Pracharath spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana called Thanathorn’s accusation “straight-faced lies” and said party executives may bring legal action against the Future Forward chairman for defaming them.

Read: EC Asks Court to Rule on Disqualifying Thanathorn

“This is the dirtiest political ploy,” Thanakorn told reporters today. “Personally, I never thought Mr. Thanathorn would turn out to be this kind of person.”

He added, “I’d rather see Mr. Thanathorn spend his time preparing to be a good opposition politician. Don’t bring troubles to yourself.”

Speaking at a panel organized by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand last night, Thanathorn shocked the audience by saying his mother was contacted by “a senior member” of Phalang Pracharath with an offer.

“This senior member of Phalang Pracharath said to my mom: khun Somporn – that’s her name – khun Somporn, we can wipe out, we can clean these charges against you, against your son … if you ask your son to transfer 20 members of the MPs from Future Forward to Phalang Pracharath,” Thanathorn said to gasps from reporters.

Thanathorn went on to say his mother even tried to convince him to accept the deal.

“You won so much. You won 80 seats. You give them 20 and all these will be wiped out!” Thanathorn quoted his mother to laughter from the crowds.

Whether the story was apocryphal or not, the spokesman of the junta-backed Phalang Pracharath said the damage has been done.

“He damaged our reputation,” Thanakorn said, adding that his legal team has yet to decide which charges they would bring again Thanathorn.