An investigation will be launched into an MP who allegedly played cards for money at his office in parliament.
Parliament president Chuan Leekpai said the MP will be probed to check if he violated the House’s code of ethics, said spokeswoman Pongsri Tharaphume.
Earlier, she received a petition on Mr Chuan’s behalf filed by Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution.
Mr Srisuwan complained that a young male MP from a “long-established” party had been playing card games for money with three fellow MPs at his office on the fifth floor of parliament on Jan 11.
The card game was recorded via a spycam and made into a video clip that shows a clear image of the MP. However, the images of the other three MPs were less clear.
Mr Srisuwan said the video clip was mailed to him by an anonymous party.
Gambling is illegal in Thailand and certainly in parliament. It constitutes a criminal offence under the MP ethics law as well as the Gambling Act.
Mr Chuan, who is also chairman of the House committee on MPs’ ethical conduct, must decide a fitting punishment if the allegation is proven to be true, Mr Srisuwan said.
“This is a big deal. Parliament should be a gambling-free zone,” the activist added.
Mr Srisuwan said gambling activities also occurred at the old parliament building on U-thong Road, but there was insufficient evidence to take action against any alleged wrongdoers.
He said the MP who had hosted the recent card playing represents a constituency located about 100 kilometres from Bangkok.
The MP has a history of gambling, and it was not the first time he had played cards in parliament, Mr Srisuwan said.
He saw what he believes were tokens on the table that could be used later to redeem players’ winnings.
Meanwhile, Ms Pongsri said Mr Chuan was thankful Mr Srisuwan for bringing the matter to his attention through the petition.