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Charn Phuangphet Faces Suspension as Pathum Thani PAO Chairman Amid Legal Battle

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Charn Phuangphet, who recently clinched victory in the Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) chairman election in Pathum Thani, finds himself in an uncertain position, as he faces suspension from duty pending a court’s decision. The Interior Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, emphasized that provincial authorities would abide by the legal recommendations set forth by the Council of State (CoS), which advises suspension due to Mr. Charn’s ongoing trial for malfeasance.

However, Mr. Charn appears undeterred and is prepared to seek a judicial ruling on the issue. Should the court rule in his favour, concerned parties must comply with the court’s directive, stated Mr. Anutin, who addressed media reports highlighting Mr. Charn’s readiness to challenge the suspension legally.

“We will adhere to the court’s decision. Without a court order, we must follow the CoS’ advice. I believe the governor holds no ill intentions towards anyone,” asserted Mr. Anutin, adding a note of confidence in the procedural fairness.

On the preceding Saturday, Pathum Thani governor Passakorn Bunyaluck made it clear that he would abide by the Interior Ministry’s directives and the CoS’ legal guidance concerning Mr. Charn’s case. This implies that Mr. Charn will be suspended as soon as his election victory receives validation from the Election Commission.

Mr. Anutin, who also leads the Bhumjaithai Party, stressed that the matter is not being politicized, assuring that provincial authorities in other regions would adopt similar measures. He expressed respect for Mr. Charn, a former Bhumjaithai Party member, and also for his political adversary, Pol Lt Gen Kamronwit Toopkrajang.

Mr. Charn, contesting under the banner of the Pheu Thai Party, emerged victorious in the local poll held on June 30. His win stirred considerable skepticism due to ongoing legal proceedings linked to his tenure as PAO chairman over a decade ago.

The legal accusations against him arise from an incident during his previous term, involving the procurement of relief supplies during the 2011 floods—a charge currently being tried in the Region 1 Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases.

In an exciting twist, the Move Forward Party (MFP) has announced its plans to participate in local elections across at least 20 provinces. Nattapong Ruangpanyawut, the MFP’s deputy secretary-general, revealed that the candidate selection process is underway and that the party will soon introduce its candidate for the PAO chairman in the northern province of Lamphun.

He expressed optimism that a significant voter turnout could tilt the scales in favour of the MFP candidates, potentially unseating those backed by established influential families. He also mentioned that the MFP did not partake in the PAO election in Pathum Thani due to technical reasons.

The unfolding drama in Pathum Thani not only highlights the precarious balance between legal proceedings and democratic processes but also sets the stage for a fascinating electoral contest in the provinces. With keen interest from both the public and political parties, all eyes will be on the developments that follow.


  1. Samantha G. July 7, 2024

    It seems like Mr. Charn is being railroaded because of his political affiliations. It’s a classic case of political manipulation.

    • Timothy68 July 7, 2024

      Political manipulation? He’s facing charges for a reason. We can’t ignore the legal process just because he’s from a certain party.

      • Samantha G. July 7, 2024

        Of course, but isn’t it convenient that these charges resurface just as he wins an election? This smells fishy to me.

      • Analytical Aaron July 7, 2024

        It does raise eyebrows, but we should trust the judicial system to sort it out. Knee-jerk reactions help no one.

  2. dr_politico July 7, 2024

    Mr. Charn’s legal issues should disqualify him from holding office. A fair legal process cannot involve an individual with ongoing corruption allegations.

    • Jazzy72 July 7, 2024

      Innocent until proven guilty! We shouldn’t jump to conclusions without a verdict.

    • Walter D. July 7, 2024

      Well, aren’t they suspending him pending the court’s decision? Seems like they’re following standard procedures.

    • dr_politico July 7, 2024

      Suspension isn’t enough if he’s found guilty. Imagine the scandal if someone found guilty of corruption still holds sway over the administration!

  3. GrowingConcern July 7, 2024

    Democracy’s principles are undermined when politics interfere with judicial processes. Let the courts decide and keep politics out!

    • Elena M. July 7, 2024

      True, but isn’t it impossible to entirely separate politics and law, especially in high-profile cases like this?

    • GrowingConcern July 7, 2024

      It’s difficult, I agree. However, striving for that separation strengthens public trust in both institutions.

    • Curious Mind July 7, 2024

      What if politics is driving the judicial process? Where do we draw the line?

  4. Bruce L. July 7, 2024

    The Move Forward Party’s involvement in multiple provinces is exciting—change is sorely needed!

    • Jane Smith July 7, 2024

      Absolutely! They’ve brought fresh perspectives to the national level; local elections could benefit from their energy.

    • OldTimer July 7, 2024

      New parties often lack the experience to run local administrations effectively. Change isn’t always for the better.

  5. Vivian July 7, 2024

    Let’s not forget about the actual malfeasance charges. There’s smoke, meaning there could be fire. We need transparency here.

  6. John Doe July 7, 2024

    Isn’t it suspicious how charges from a decade ago are still unresolved? Why did it take so long if he’s guilty?

    • PolicyWonk July 7, 2024

      Legal procedures often take years, especially with complex corruption cases involving government contracts.

    • Skeptic007 July 7, 2024

      Or maybe it’s intentional dragging—the longer it drags, the more it benefits certain political agendas.

  7. SmartAlec July 7, 2024

    Anutin’s stance seems balanced. Following legal advice while awaiting court decisions is prudent.

    • CriticalKate July 7, 2024

      He’s just being diplomatic to cover his political party’s interests!

  8. Amy L. July 7, 2024

    It’s unfortunate for the voters who chose Charn. They might feel disenfranchised if he’s suspended before taking office.

  9. Carlos W. July 7, 2024

    I’m more interested in the Move Forward Party’s plans. Could their success in other provinces challenge the status quo?

    • jeanette62 July 8, 2024

      Only if they manage to secure a significant voter turnout. Many still prefer the ‘devil they know.’

    • maverick_MFP July 8, 2024

      The youth are rallying behind them, at least in urban areas. Rural regions may need more convincing.

  10. IndependentThinker July 8, 2024

    Why focus so much on Charn’s case? The broader issue is election integrity and governance!

  11. Clark Kent July 8, 2024

    What kind of impact will this have on future elections in other provinces?

    • HistoryBuff July 8, 2024

      Historical trends suggest that similar dramas tend to influence voter perceptions and turnouts.

  12. ConcernedCitizen July 8, 2024

    Anyone else worried this could set a precedent for courts interfering with election results?

  13. PathumThaniNative July 8, 2024

    Pathum Thani deserves a clean administrator. Whether it’s Charn or someone else, let’s prioritize integrity.

  14. William J. July 8, 2024

    Maybe Mr. Charn stepping down would clear the path for a more transparent administration.

    • Tanya F. July 8, 2024

      You can’t just force someone out because of allegations! If they are cleared, it would be an injustice.

  15. Loyalist July 8, 2024

    The PAO was doing fine under Mr. Charn years ago. This whole case seems trumped up.

    • Devil’s Advocate July 8, 2024

      Fine? There are legitimate concerns about corruption. Ignoring that doesn’t help.

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