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Nakhonchai Khunnarong’s Political Saga: From Triumph to Disqualification in Thailand’s Electoral Drama

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In a tale that twists and turns with the unpredictability of a Thai soap opera, the Election Commission (EC) of Thailand found itself at the center of a political maelstrom last Friday. On their website, an announcement thundered down like a gavel, declaring Nakhonchai Khunnarong, the victor of a parliamentary seat for Rayong province in the gripping May 14 election of the previous year, in violation of some rather serious sections of the organic act on election of MPs. The consequences? A potential ten-year vacation behind bars, a fine that could lighten one’s wallet by up to 200,000 baht, and a 20-year hiatus from the political game.

The plot thickened as the EC brandished its plans to stride into the hallowed halls of the Constitutional Court, intent on stripping Nakhonchai—affectionately dubbed “Ice Rayong”—of his MP status retroactively to that fateful May 14, and to permanently close the door on his electoral aspirations.

The twist in our tale came when Ice Rayong, under the shadow of allegations by the leader of the Seree Ruam Thai Party, Seripisuth Temeeyaves, decided to lay down his parliamentary mantle. At the heart of the scandal was a revelation as cold as ice: Nakhonchai had previously enjoyed a less-than-desirable vacation in the big house over a theft case. A detail that, in the high-stakes world of Thai politics, is akin to finding out your champion racehorse is actually a donkey.

Yet, like any good drama, there was an act of defiance. The EC’s by-election baton was passed, and lo and behold, another Move Forward champion took the stage, claiming victory amidst the political turmoil. The EC, however, was not ready to close the curtain, vowing to send the bill for this unexpected rerun to someone’s doorstep. Needless to say, they were not singing praises for Nakhonchai’s assertion of innocence.

But every story has two sides, and Nakhonchai’s is a tale of youth, confusion, and a seemingly innocuous woman’s watch. Rewind to October 6, 1999, a 20-year-old Nakhonchai found himself in a room buzzing with the energy of youth and freedom. According to a post dated July 23, 2023, a watch left unattended became the catalyst for a series of events that would change the course of his life. The arrival of the police, a friend’s confession, and a document that sealed his fate, led to a judicial decision that saw him serve time, albeit reduced by half.

This story, part cautionary tale and part political intrigue, highlights the complexity of life’s journey and the unexpected roads we find ourselves on. Nakhonchai’s journey from the party rooms of youth to the solemn halls of parliament, and back to the spotlight of controversy, serves as a vivid tapestry of the highs and lows that define the human experience. It’s a reminder that in Thailand’s vibrant political landscape, as in life, the path to redemption, like the road to parliament, is never straight but always worth navigating.


  1. ThaiCitizen101 April 6, 2024

    Shocking but not surprising! Thai politics has always been a rollercoaster. Nakhonchai’s downfall is just another chapter in a long saga of controversy and drama. Can anyone in Thai politics keep their slate clean?

    • BangkokNight April 6, 2024

      I think it’s harsh to judge so quickly. We’ve all made mistakes, especially when young. Does a mistake from over two decades ago really warrant such consequences now?

      • JusticePrevails April 6, 2024

        Absolutely it does! Politics demands higher standards. If you can’t keep your record clean, how can you manage a country? Past actions matter, no excuses.

      • ThaiCitizen101 April 6, 2024

        I see your point, BangkokNight, but when you’re in such a position of power, your past, present, and future must be an open book. Accountability is key.

    • LisaM April 6, 2024

      Thai politics needs a massive cleanup, starting with transparency and genuine integrity. Maybe then we’ll get leaders who can truly lead without any skeletons in their closets.

  2. ExpatsView April 6, 2024

    As an expat, watching Thai politics unfold is like watching a game of chess with unpredictable pieces. It’s fascinating yet slightly unnerving not knowing what’s coming next.

    • LocalHeart April 6, 2024

      It’s more than a game for us living it every day. It’s our future and our children’s future at stake. We need stability, not unpredictability.

  3. VoiceOfReason April 6, 2024

    Before everyone jumps to conclusions, remember that the legal system and the political environment are intertwined. This is not merely about Nakhonchai’s past; it’s about ensuring no stone is left unturned.

    • BangkokNight April 6, 2024

      Fair point. Yet, how often do these investigations turn into witch hunts, destroying careers and lives in the process? Where do we draw the line?

  4. DemocracyDefender April 6, 2024

    This incident should serve as a wake-up call. The public must demand better investigative processes and more transparency from their politicians and the EC.

    • Realist101 April 6, 2024

      Idealistic but unlikely. The system is too entrenched, and the public too disillusioned. What we need is a complete overhaul, not just a wakeup call.

      • EternalOptimist April 6, 2024

        Change starts with one step at a time. You might be surprised at what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.

  5. CuriousGeorge April 6, 2024

    Was there no vetting process? How did someone with a criminal record even get to stand for election? There’s got to be more to this story.

    • PoliticalJunkie April 6, 2024

      There are supposed to be vetting processes, but loopholes abound and, let’s be honest, money talks. This story is just the tip of the iceberg.

      • CuriousGeorge April 6, 2024

        It’s disheartening, to say the least. The more you know, the more you realize how broken the system really is.

    • RuleOfLaw April 6, 2024

      It’s a failure on multiple levels. Not just vetting, but a systemic failure that allows individuals with questionable pasts to climb so high up the political ladder.

  6. HistoryBuff April 6, 2024

    Remember folks, history repeats itself. Political scandals, especially in Thai politics, are nothing new. What’s crucial is learning from them and ensuring they don’t happen again.

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