November 1, 2023
BANGKOK – Bencha Saengchantra, who leads the party’s special working team dedicated to addressing issues of sexual violence, announced on Tuesday that Prachinburi MP Wuttiphong Thonglour and Bangkok MP Sirin Sanguansin had both been found guilty of sexual assault.
Bencha, who is also party-list MP, said party executives will make a final decision at 5pm on Wednesday. The most severe punishment they can face is expulsion from the party and forfeiture of all their privileges.
She emphasised that Move Forward prioritises its core principle of non-violence and gender equality and is not concerned about its number of seats in Parliament dropping.
The progressive party currently holds 151 seats in the House of Representatives, after it expelled one MP for refusing to give up the post of deputy speaker.
Bencha also said that Move Forward does not tolerate a culture of concealing misconduct among its members. The party has a clear set of criteria for determining punishment in such cases, she clarified.
Before arriving at a final decision on the case, she said the party will exercise caution to safeguard the interest of the victims.
“We will try not to let such an incident take place again,” she said.
On Monday, Wuttiphong, one of the accused MPs, took to social media to say: “Today, I’m no different from dead people who are still breathing”, adding that he was being unfairly condemned without being given the opportunity to defend himself.
The main opposition party has recently been under fire over allegations of sexual assault and acts of violence. This has come to the forefront as at least four of its members have been accused of misconduct.
Meanwhile, a group of people had gathered at Move Forward’s headquarters on Tuesday to demand stricter measures to combat sexual misconduct within the party and demanded accountability and justice.