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Thai PM accused of violating charter

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September 29, 2008

Thai PM accused of violating charter
Thailand’s Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is being accused of holding shares in a local Internet service provider in violation of the constitution, reported local daily the Nation Monday.

The newspaper quoted Senator Ruangkrai Leekijwattana as saying Sunday that a complaint would be filed with the Election Commission to check whether Somchai had violated certain articles of the constitution by holding shares in CS Loxinfo that has a concession with CAT.

Somchai is also accused of having his daughter hold shares in M Link, a company that also operates a state concession.
If the allegations were found to be true, it could lead to his disqualification as an MP and prime minister.
Ruangkrai is the same Senator whose earlier complaint against former prime minister Samak Sundaravej of violating the Constitution by hosting his cooking programme had resulted in Samak losing his premiership early this month.
Ruangkrai said that Chinnicha Wongsawat, Somchai's daughter who is an MP of the ruling People Power Party in Chiang Mai in the north, filed assets declaration that showed she held 70 million shares in M Link Asia, which is a contract partner with a state enterprise, the Provincial Electricity Authority.

State news agency TNA quoted Ruangkrai as saying that Somchai had submitted a financial statement to the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) while serving in the Samak Sundaravej government declaring that he received dividends amounting to Bt20,000 from CS LoxInfo Plc.

Thailand's Constitution prohibits politicians from holding interests in media and telecom businesses, especially with firms holding state concessions.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Somchai has been encountering protesters as he visited his home town and made public appearances in the capital Bangkok.  

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