Democrats call for PM-Sansiri probe | Bangkok Post: news
Democrats call for PM-Sansiri probe Furore over meeting with developer grows
The controversial meeting between Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and a property tycoon has sparked political recriminations between the Pheu Thai-led government and the opposition Democrat Party.
The Democrat Party is threatening to launch impeachment proceedings against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra over her meeting with the president of property developer Sansiri at the Four Seasons Hotel on Feb 8.
They also plan to push for an investigation into ties between the prime minister and the developer.
The opposition also has questioned whether the meeting included offering secret benefits from the government's flood prevention projects.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut yesterday said the party will continue delving into the issue and will pressure those present at the meeting to come forward with information on what was discussed.
Mr Chavanond said the issue could provide grounds for the opposition to impeach Ms Yingluck if it involved questionable activities.
The Democrats intimated the meeting would bring disgrace to Ms Yingluck.
On Saturday she wrote on her Facebook page calling on Thais to respect the role and dignity of women. She said it was sad that women were regularly insulted and exploited in Thai society and politics.
On Friday, Srettha Thavisin, president of property developer Sansiri Plc, confirmed he met Ms Yingluck at the hotel on Feb 8.
He said the meeting included six or seven other people and was not a one-on-one discussion.
He said they exchanged opinions on several topics ranging from the general situation in the country to the economy, interest rates and financial matters.
Mr Chavanond said yesterday it would have been a grave mistake if financial matters were discussed at the hotel as Mr Srettha had admitted.
Ms Yingluck skipped a House session to attend the meeting.
Mr Chavanond said Ms Yingluck's meeting with Mr Srettha took place before her post-flood seven-day tour of five provinces.
"If I had heard what Ms Yingluck talked about at the meeting, I could have made a handsome profit," Mr Chavanond said.
Any information disclosed at the meeting on planned floodways and water catchment areas would benefit property developers who had access to the plans.
Mr Chavanond said if anyone knows in advance which areas will become floodways or water retention areas, they would just buy those land plots and wait for the government to expropriate the land.
Deputy Democrat spokeswoman Mallika Boonmeetrakul yesterday demanded Ms Yingluck disclose details of the meeting and confirm that nothing untoward occurred.
Ms Mallika said Ms Yingluck is a public figure and is subject to scrutiny and if she cannot stand the pressure, she should resign and leave politics.
It was irrelevant to cite the privilege of being a woman to avoid scrutiny, Ms Mallika said.
She said the Democrat Party will ask a House committee on ethics and a House committee on women's affairs to examine her conduct.
The party also plans to petition a House committee on economic affairs to investigate the assets of Mr Srettha, as president of Sansiri Plc, and those of the premier during the past seven months to determine if there were business links between the two.
Ms Mallika also called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to check activity in bank accounts belonging to Mr Srettha.
However, NACC spokesman Klanarong Chanthik yesterday said there was nothing the NACC could do about an issue involving the president of Sansiri, a private company.