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Pichet slated for disloyalty

The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) on Wednesday handed down punishments against MP Pichet Sathirachawal for turning against it by allegedly teaming up with the Pheu Thai Party in preparing a censure debate targeting the government.

The punishments include annulment although the ruling party has stopped short of expelling Mr Pichet.

Paiboon Nititawan, the PPRP deputy leader and chairman of the party's committee on law and internal regulations, said the punishments were approved by the panel after two hours of deliberation.

The committee found Mr Pichet has tried to subvert the party by forming a "Group of 16", comprising MPs of micro parties and some PPRP members, without the PPRP's knowledge. The group was intent on staging a political movement.

Mr Pichet joined executives of the main opposition Pheu Thai in meetings on April 23 and May 4 to prepare for the no-confidence motion to be lodged against cabinet members including the PPRP's own ministers.

Given that Pheu Thai is an adversary of the PPRP, Mr Pichet was seen as turning against his own party by participating or supporting in the main opposition party's activities.

Mr Paiboon said Mr Pichet does not value the PPRP's ideology and disregards its regulations governing members' conduct and ethics.

The committee resolved to annul Mr Pichet's rights associated with his PPRP membership for six months from today.

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