MP In Hot Water After Challenging Prime Minister To A Kickboxing Match

Mongkolkit Suksintharanon

A former Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) member on Monday petitioned the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, the leader of the Thai Civilised Party, for allegedly breaching MP ethics after he challenged Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to a kickboxing match for the premiership.

Sonthiya Sawasdee, the former ruling party member, said Mr Suksintharanon had violated ethics and tarnished parliament’s image, adding an MP elected by the people should be mature and refrain from making bets.

“I wondered if he or the prime minister loses, will the people who elected them accept the loser’s resignation?” he said. “Moreover, the prime minister once trained at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, and has martial arts skills.”

“Mr Suksintharanon should not underestimate his power,” Mr Sawasdee said.

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution, also submitted a similar petition against Mr Suksintharanon with the NACC yesterday.

Mr Janya said Mr Suksintharanon’s kickboxing challenge to the prime minister on social media may have been an ethical violation, so the association would like to ask the NACC to launch a probe into Mr Suksintharanon’s behaviour.

Mr Suksintharanon on Thursday posted a Facebook message that said: “For the sake of a bloodless way out of the country’s political crisis, I will represent the people to challenge the prime minister to a kickboxing match.”

He said if he lost, he would resign as an MP, but Gen Chan-o-cha would have to step down as prime minister if he was defeated. Mr Suksintharanon told reporters the country is currently in a mess due to the COVID-19 outbreak and persistent protests.

He said his challenge was a solution to maintain order and prevent bloodshed, noting it does not violate ethical codes because it involves a sport.