FM Don defends his wife’s share-holding

Foreign Minister Don Paramatvinai has come out to defended his wife’s unreported share-holding exceeding 5 percent which was cited as a reason for the Election Commission to rule that he might not be qualified to assume his ministerial post.

He explained that the shares of his wife, Mrs Nareerat, were inherited from her father 37 years ago and they were family shares owned by 6-7 siblings of his wife. He said all the shares were not traded in the stock market and his wife was not involved in the management of the company.

He also insisted that his wife’s shares were included in the list of assets and liabilities which was submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission when he assumed the foreign affairs portfolio.

The foreign minister said he had already reported to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha about his wife’s share holding on June 1.

The Election Commission’s investigation into Mr Don’s wife’s share holding was in response to a complaint lodged in May last year by Pheu Thai legal advisor Ruangkrai Leekitwattana who also demanded the EC to probe the share-holdings of eight other ministers.

After the EC’s resolution, Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krua-ngarm said there was no need for Mr Don to quit now and suggested the latter to carry on with his work as usual.

Dr Wisanu noted that the case was not over yet and it has to be decided by the Constitutional Court.

But former Pheu Thai MPs and political activist Srisuwan Janya have put pressure on Mr Don to resign.

According to Isra news agency, Mrs Nareerat held 12 percent shares of registered capital in Panawong Company and another 17.5 percent in Panawong Realty Company.

In October last year, Mrs Nareerat reduced her shareholding to just 4 percent by transferring the rest of the shares to her son, Mr Puen, but this was not reported to the NACC.