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If Chaiyamparwaan Manphianjit, the Move Forward Party MP representing the Chom Thong-Bang Khun Thian-Tha Kham constituency in Bangkok, still has any integrity left, he should resign from the party immediately.
Last night, 106 of his colleagues believed that he was guilty of sexual harassment and that he should be expelled from the party. However, he remains with the party and holds his MP position due to a technicality, as the charter requires a 3/4 majority vote, which is 116 out of the total 154 MPs, to expel him.
It is still unclear why there were only 128 MPs present at the voting last night. However, if more than 100 of your colleagues want you to be expelled from the party, you should have resigned voluntarily.
Worse yet, he denied all wrongdoing before the vote was even taken, even though it was later revealed that he was clearly at fault.
I agree with MFP spokesperson Parit Wacharasindhu that what Chaiyamparwaan did was wrong in having a relationship with a member of his working team who held a lower position than him. Parit said that, given his position as an MP, it could be seen as an unequal power dynamic, and it may not be viewed as a fully consensual relationship between the MP and a member of his team, and I believe he is right.
His female colleague and another MP for Bangkok, Sasinan Thammanithinan, shed more light on the allegations against him when she wrote, “Being drunk is not consent.” This comment from Sasinan is the reason why I said that if Chaiyamparwaan has any integrity left, he should resign from the party.
His decision to deny all wrongdoing shows that he has no remorse for his actions and is not willing to admit his guilt and face the consequences. His decision forced his colleagues to make a decision for him, and in the end, the party’s reputation has been severely damaged while creating a rift within the party as well.
He should not have made advances on a woman when she was drunk, and if he believed it was consensual, why did she file a complaint against him afterward? He clearly took advantage of his position, as Parit has stated, and he took advantage of her while she was inebriated, as Sasinan said. This is unacceptable, and to have the audacity to deny it all is unbelievable.
He should take responsibility, accept his guilt, and resign, as his political career is practically over, as Progressive Movement Secretary-General Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has pointed out. There is no need for him to drag the entire party down any longer.
If he still decides not to resign, the party should hold another vote on him, and this time they should ensure that all 154 MPs participate, not just 128 of them.
Moving forward, given that there are already four cases of sexual harassment involving former and current MPs, the party must implement better screening of their candidates to prevent such incidents from recurring.
Nevertheless, it can be said that the party’s reputation in this aspect is already significantly damaged, and substantial actions must be taken to avoid further repercussions. For example, some of the female MPs in the party are likely already considering whether they should remain in the party or not.