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Supreme Court Sentences Natee Ratchakitprakarn and Former MPs for Proxy Voting Scandal

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In the corridors of political power, few stories have captivated the public quite like the recent saga of three former Bhumjaithai Party MPs. Among them, Natee Ratchakitprakarn, who held a significant position not just in politics but also as the wife of the current Minister for Labour, Pipat Ratchakitprakarn. Their tale is one of power, intrigue, and ultimately, a fall from grace that culminated in the Supreme Court’s ruling this Tuesday.

The courtroom buzzed with anticipation as the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders handed down the formidable sentences. Chalong Thoetwiraphong, a former MP from Phatthalung’s constituency 2, Phumsit Khongmi, who represented Phatthalung’s constituency 1, and Natee Ratchakitprakarn were each sentenced to nine months in prison. Their crime? Proxy voting during the heated 2020 budget bill debate—a move that went against the very ethics they vowed to uphold.

Delving into the decision, the court was unyielding. They found that during the crucial deliberations on January 10-11, 2020, the three politicians had allowed other Members of Parliament to use their electronic voting cards. This ethical breach didn’t escape the eagle eyes of the Supreme Court, which consequently triggered Section 172 of the Counter Corruption Act. The penalties outlined under this act are severe, carrying a potential of up to 10 years of imprisonment and/or fines ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 baht. The nine-month sentence, although a step down from the original one-year term, was still a significant marker of their misdemeanors.

As the gavel fell, so did the political careers of the three. With immediate effect, their political rights were stripped away. The ramifications of their actions were mirroring a public spectacle, magnified by the media frenzy. Initially allowed bail of one million baht each while they contested the length of their sentences, the trio’s final appeal was met with an unwavering stance from the Court. Their argument—that the sentence was overly harsh for individuals of their age—didn’t hold water in the eyes of the law.

The majority consensus among the judges was a damning indictment of their actions. By performing their roles dishonestly, the three had tarnished the sanctity of their positions. The punishment was designed not just as retribution, but as a deterrence—a clear message to anyone considering similar ethical violations in the future. Time behind bars was seen as an essential period for reflection and supposed repentance.

With the verdict read out, the former MPs were escorted away. Chalong and Phumsit found themselves heading to the austere Bangkok Remand Prison, whereas Natee was taken to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution. The gravity of the situation hung heavy in the air, a stark reminder of the responsibilities that come with political power and the severe consequences of misuses.

As the doors of the prison closed behind them, the nation was left pondering the complex weave of ethics, power, and justice in the political arena. Their story became a cautionary tale—a beacon warning all who tread the same halls of power that integrity is not just a virtue but an expectation with unforgiving consequences if flouted.


  1. Anna B. June 11, 2024

    They deserved every bit of their sentence! Proxy voting undermines the entire democratic process.

    • politico_wiz June 11, 2024

      Hold up, you’re saying nine months is enough? They should’ve gotten the full 10 years.

      • Anna B. June 11, 2024

        I agree the penalty could be harsher, but at least it’s a start. It sets a precedent.

      • Tom67 June 11, 2024

        Punishment should fit the crime. 10 years is excessive for just using voting cards.

    • Sandy L. June 11, 2024

      It’s so frustrating that politicians think they can get away with things like this!

  2. NarutoFan99 June 11, 2024

    Wow, who even cares? Politicians do shady stuff all the time, this is nothing new.

    • Educator123 June 11, 2024

      That’s exactly why we need consequences. No one should be above the law.

    • RealityCheck June 11, 2024

      It’s apathy like this that allows corruption to continue. We HAVE to care.

  3. Marie H. June 11, 2024

    Can anyone explain how this proxy voting actually works? I didn’t really get it.

    • historybuff June 11, 2024

      It’s when MPs let others use their voting cards to cast votes. It’s illegal and unethical.

  4. J. Doe June 11, 2024

    Shouldn’t the focus be on the systemic issues that lead to this kind of behavior rather than just punishing individuals?

    • Patriotic_Pete June 11, 2024

      Punishing individuals is part of fixing the system, though.

    • CynicalSally June 11, 2024

      The system is too ingrained. Punishing a few won’t change anything.

    • J. Doe June 11, 2024

      Maybe, but it starts the conversation, doesn’t it?

  5. Larry Davis June 11, 2024

    Finally, some real accountability in politics!

  6. FutureScholar June 11, 2024

    Imagine if this happened everywhere! Corruption would plummet overnight.

    • JoeP June 11, 2024

      Dream on, corruption is too embedded. There’s no easy fix.

    • FutureScholar June 11, 2024

      A single step can still lead to significant change.

    • JoeP June 11, 2024

      Change is possible, but it’s naive to think it’ll happen quickly.

  7. GreenThumb June 11, 2024

    Interesting that they didn’t get the full sentence. Shows leniency even in punishment.

  8. Megan June 11, 2024

    This whole situation just highlights the need for better checks and balances in our government.

    • Analyst June 11, 2024

      Improving oversight mechanisms is critical, but it’s easier said than done.

    • Megan June 11, 2024

      True, but we have to start somewhere.

  9. Sam F. June 11, 2024

    I’m surprised they didn’t use some excuse involving health issues to get leniency. That’s a common tactic.

    • LadyJustice June 11, 2024

      They actually did argue the sentence was too harsh given their age, but the court didn’t buy it.

    • Sam F. June 11, 2024

      Good to hear! Courts shouldn’t be swayed by those tactics.

  10. Lucas June 11, 2024

    Does anyone know what happens to the Minister for Labour now? Any repercussions for him?

    • InsightfulOne June 11, 2024

      Probably not, unless he’s directly implicated. Spouses don’t always share the same consequences.

    • Lucas June 11, 2024

      Still, his wife’s actions might tarnish his reputation. Curious how that will play out.

  11. Grower134 June 11, 2024

    This is all a media circus. They do this stuff to distract us from real issues.

  12. RealPolitik June 11, 2024

    Proxy voting is a hack in the system. Such hacks undermine democracy.

  13. Jerry June 11, 2024

    Ethics in politics is critical. How do we rebuild trust after such scandals?

    • ConcernedCitizen June 11, 2024

      Transparent and frequent accountability checks. Like this trial.

  14. Ella T. June 11, 2024

    Nine months? What a joke. They’ll be out in no time.

    • Analyst June 11, 2024

      Even a short sentence can have lasting consequences. Their careers are over.

    • Ella T. June 11, 2024

      Maybe, but I doubt it’ll change anything in the long run.

  15. Patricia M. June 11, 2024

    Prison time for politicians should be the standard for corruption. It’ll make them think twice.

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