Ms. Nateepat Kulsetthasith, 46, a future MP on the Move Forward Party party list, resigned from the organization on Tuesday, May 16th, following her arrest for drunk driving in Bangkok. Only one day earlier, on May 14, in the Thai election, he had been chosen.
In a statement to the Thai media, Ms. Nateepat said, “Last night, May 15, I went out with some friends. I had four or five drinks total. I then passed my vehicle through a police checkpoint after that. I complied with the police’s request for a test, but I called some friends to come watch while I took the alcohol breath test. There is no connection between this and the Move Forward Party; it is solely my fault. I sincerely apologize to the voters who supported me. I must accept responsibility for my actions and step down from my position.
Nateepat was making reference to the original reports in certain media outlets that she had refused the breath alcohol test, which she rejects. She claims that she merely wanted to get some advise and call a friend to watch the process, and it took the friend almost an hour to get to the checkpoint. She later took the test and tested over the legal limit, which resulted in her arrest.
The police chief has confirmed to us that Ms. Nateepat did not tell authorities at the checkpoint that she was a future member of Parliament and she did not use or ask for any special exceptions, according to Mr. Pijarn Chaopattanawong, the deputy head of the Move Forward Party. The party-list representative from Parliament, Ms. Nateepat, has resigned.
After the election, the Move Forward Party will have 39 party-list representatives in the parliament. As Ms. Nateepat resigned, Mr. Suthep U-On, who is ranked number 40 on the list, will take Ms. Nateepat’s place. The Move Forward Party will continue to hold the seat, which is uncontested.