Democrat kingpin Suthep to quit politics if impeached by Senate

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BANGKOK, July 27 – Former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban of the Democrat Party said on Friday that he will retire from politics altogether if the Senate impeaches him following the anti-graft commission resolution finding him guilty of inteference in the work of the Ministry of Culture.

The former deputy premier under the Democrat-led coalition government which was in power between 2009-2011 made the remark as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday resolved that the Democrat MP was found guilty for violating Constitution Article 268 for exercising power beyond the limit of his authority.

Suthep was accused of appointing 19 Democrats MPs to work in the Ministry of Culture, an action which the NACC considered as interference in the work of state officials.

The NACC resolved to forward the case to the Senate for formal impeachment, which could also result in a five-year ban from politics.

Suthep said he respects the NACC decision and is willing to follow the senate resolution.

The ex-deputy premier explained, however, that he did not send any MPs to work at the culture ministry. Suthep said he submitted a letter on appointing 19 MPs to work at the ministry for its consideration, but later withdrew it after learning that the move was deemed a violation of law.

“If the NACC considered the action was already done, I have to respect its decision,” said the Democrat MP for Surat Thani.

Suthep said he could not predict whether he will be impeached by the senators and now he is still working as usual with no worry on the matter.

“I am now 64. If I am to be banned from politics for five years, by that time I will be 69,” Suthep said, “I should call it quits from politics and go back to raise my grandchildren.”