Cover photo: The MFP's media team
Following the recent exposure of a sexual harassment case involving an MP, the Move Forward Party (MFP) has reported on the progress of investigations into alleged sexual harassment involving its MPs, and promised to enhance measures to prevent such behaviour by Party members.
On 12 October 2023, MFP Spokesperson Parit Wacharasindhu and MP Sasinan Thamnithinan held a press conference regarding investigations into sexual harassment allegedly committed by the Party’s MPs.
Parit acknowledged that the Party is grappling with the large issue of sexual harassment which affects personal safety. He emphasized the Party’s commitment to addressing the problem and seeking justice for the victims.
Following the 2023 general election, the Party received complaints of sexual harassment committed by its MPs. The investigations have ended with penalties imposed on the wrongdoers.
The first case involved MP Sirin Sanguansin, who physically assaulted his victim, causing her injury, damaging her property and using offensive language toward her. He admitted the offences.
The Party disqualified Sirin from nomination to an important position within the party. If he commits another severe disciplinary offence while an MP, the penalty would be escalated to expulsion from the party.
The second case involved former MP Kraingkrai Chankokphueng, who was found to have committed sexual assault as accused, explicitly violating the principles of consent and bodily autonomy. Kriengkrai was expelled from the Party.
Two additional cases are currently under investigation.
The most recent case disclosed to the public involves Wutthipong Thonglao, MP for Prachin Buri, who allegedly sent explicitly sexual text messages to a female Party volunteer. The Party initiated an investigation in August, and those involved were invited to provide additional information in September.
The spokesperson reiterated the Party’s commitment to promptly resolving this matter. Further evidence from all parties is needed to reach a conclusion. If the allegation is proven true, the Party will impose a proportional punishment and ensure justice for the victim.
In the second case, which has not been publicly revealed, the Party received information suggesting possible incidents of sexual harassment. Although no direct complaints were volunteered from those who may have been victims, the Party has reached out to gather additional information from them.
After an internal discussion, the Party has committed to improving measures to prevent and address sexual harassment through the following actions:
- Enhancing the functioning of the disciplinary committee by including experts who are not Party members.
- Reviewing and improving the investigation process from the beginning to the final stages to prevent delay and ensure fairness for all parties involved.
- Intensify training for Party personnel on respect for gender equality and bodily autonomy, by expanding the number of participants to cover all regions, increasing the frequency and forms of training, enhancing details of the content and programme in consultation with external experts, and improving the personnel screening process with regard to this issue.