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Thai PM weighs in on fest scandal

Chulanont to discuss bribery issue with police

Thailand’s outgoing prime minister stepped into the debate over bribery at the Bangkok Film Festival (Daily Variety, Dec. 19) before the election this past weekend.

Surayud Chulanont told reporters that his government would ask U.S. authorities for more information to help with an investigation by Thai authorities.

“Everything will be handled within the rule of law,” the prime minister said, adding that he planned to discuss the case with the national police chief.

Former Thai tourism official Juthamas Siriwan, who allegedly received $1.7 million from U.S. execs Gerald and Patricia Green, withdrew from the race for a parliamentary seat on Dec. 20.

Siriwan, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and prexy of the fest, insisted that she had not accepted bribes but said she wanted to spare her political party any association with the scandal. She was deputy leader of the Puea Pandin Party, which was favored to win the largest share of Sunday’s vote but didn’t win an absolute majority.

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