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Suspension Looms: Charn Phuangphet’s Pathum Thani Victory Under Legal Scrutiny

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Pathum Thani’s provincial authorities are treading carefully in adherence to the directives of the Interior Ministry and the legal counsel from the Council of State (CoS) regarding the heated dilemma involving the provincial administrative organization (PAO) chairman. Governor Passakorn Bunyaluck assured that no decisive actions have been taken thus far since the Election Commission (EC) has yet to officially endorse the election results that saw Charn Phuangphet clinch the PAO chairman role last Sunday.

“As the overseer of local administrative entities, I am bound to act following the Interior Ministry’s guidelines, regulations, and the CoS’ legal standpoints,” declared Mr. Passakorn.

Charn, the Pheu Thai Party’s aspirant, secured victory in the local polls on June 30, despite a cloud of skepticism lingering due to an ongoing malfeasance lawsuit from his previous stint as PAO chairman over ten years ago. The Region 1 Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases had suspended Mr. Charn in 2012 when it accepted a case filed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The CoS has held that suspending Mr. Charn is necessary given his ongoing trial, while the Pheu Thai Party contended that a new court order would be needed to suspend Mr. Charn from his freshly minted PAO chairman position in Pathum Thani.

A credible source within the Interior Ministry revealed on Friday that the governor is primed to issue a suspension order the moment Mr. Charn assumes his duties. This measure echoes a memo circulated in April this year that underscores the steps to be taken when local political office holders are formally charged with misconduct by the NACC.

According to the memo, once the court accepts the case, the accused office-bearer must step down from their duties and immediately inform the governor or district chief. Non-compliance may spur an investigation and potential ousting from office.

Meanwhile, Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, a legal scholar at Thammasat University, remarked that Mr. Charn was eligible to run for the position because no verdict has been reached in his case yet. He highlighted that the CoS has provided similar legal advice since December 2022, a period which saw countrywide elections for local administrative bodies.

“Did the electoral body inform him that even if elected, he might face difficulties in fulfilling his duties, considering historical precedents in analogous cases? And was Pheu Thai aware of the CoS’s advisory?” he queried.


  1. Sarah J July 6, 2024

    It’s absurd that Charn Phuangphet, who is still under trial for past misconduct, was even allowed to run. How is this a transparent process?

    • Mike72 July 6, 2024

      Well, technically he hasn’t been convicted yet, so is it fair to preemptively suspend his rights?

      • Sarah J July 6, 2024

        Fair point, Mike. But shouldn’t the public trust be prioritized over technicalities? This just seems like ignoring a red flag.

      • Davis Korman July 6, 2024

        Innocent until proven guilty, Sarah. You can’t just flout fundamental legal principles!

  2. Jin86 July 6, 2024

    Prinya’s perspective makes sense; if no verdict has been reached, why should he be barred from running?

    • Roy G. July 6, 2024

      But isn’t there an ethical consideration here? Why elect someone who’s in legal hot water?

      • Jin86 July 6, 2024

        Ethical dilemmas aside, until it’s proven in court, Charn should be viewed as any other candidate.

    • Toony July 6, 2024

      Agreed. It drags the election process into disrepute!

  3. Amanda July 6, 2024

    It’s interesting how the Interior Ministry’s memo necessitates suspension after formal charges. It sets a good precedent for accountability.

  4. TomL July 6, 2024

    Was Pheu Thai unaware of the CoS’ advisory, or did they just choose to ignore it to push their candidate through?

    • Sarah J July 6, 2024

      They certainly knew, Tom. It’s political maneuvering at its worst!

    • Maggie F. July 6, 2024

      Just because they knew doesn’t mean they had any legal obligation to follow suit. Politics is about strategy.

    • TomL July 6, 2024

      True, but doesn’t it make the party look irresponsible and power-hungry?

  5. AnalystGuy42 July 6, 2024

    The Region 1 Criminal Court’s previous suspension of Charn seems very telling. It’s a warning more than anything.

  6. Elena July 6, 2024

    Won’t this constant back and forth just erode public confidence in the PAO? We need clarity, not legal wrangling.

    • Carlos M. July 6, 2024

      Absolutely. The indecision and flip-flopping are making the authority look incompetent.

    • Jin86 July 7, 2024

      But the legal process is complex; clarity isn’t always immediate.

  7. Liam P July 6, 2024

    How does the election commission justify its position? They should deny his endorsement until the trial is concluded.

    • Roy G. July 6, 2024

      It’s not that simple, Liam. Legal systems need to follow due process.

    • Sarah J July 6, 2024

      It boils down to whether procedural integrity or immediate action proves more essential.

  8. Kaitlyn July 7, 2024

    I think the law is failing the public here. Even with formal charges, we’re allowing potentially corrupt officials to lead.

  9. Freddy K July 7, 2024

    What’s maddening is the lack of transparency. We’re left in the dark about the specifics.

  10. Patrice July 7, 2024

    Doesn’t this set a bad precedent? Any official could then argue they deserve to stay in power until proven guilty, delaying justice indefinitely.

    • AnalystGuy42 July 7, 2024

      Exactly, Patrice! It’s a loophole that lets people exploit the system.

    • Toony July 7, 2024

      More than that, it undermines public trust and governance.

  11. GreenThumb121 July 7, 2024

    What’s the point of these guidelines if they’re not enforceable in a straightforward manner?

  12. Leo T July 7, 2024

    I find it amusing how politicians always find a way to skirt the rules. Makes you question their integrity.

    • Amanda July 7, 2024

      It’s not always about integrity; sometimes, it’s about navigating a flawed system.

    • Elena July 7, 2024

      But doesn’t the willingness to exploit flaws speak to their character?

    • Leo T July 7, 2024

      Indeed, Elena. And that’s why we need reform, not just in laws but in who we elect.

  13. Dan H July 7, 2024

    A suspension would shut down this mess and let the law take its course without extra drama.

    • Carlos M. July 7, 2024

      Simpler said than done, Dan. Legal nuances often complicate straightforward solutions.

  14. SmartCookie July 7, 2024

    Has anyone noticed how this case reflects broader issues in our legal-political landscape? Bigger fish to fry than Charn alone.

    • Mike72 July 7, 2024

      Absolutely. It’s symptomatic of deeper systemic inefficacies.

    • SmartCookie July 7, 2024

      And until those are addressed, we’ll keep seeing similar problems arise.

    • Grower134 July 7, 2024

      Yet focusing on broader issues doesn’t negate the need for immediate solutions.

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