Move Forward Party warns court ruling may trigger social unrest

Move Forward Party warns court ruling may trigger social unrest

Supporters of three activists throw leaflets calling for the abolition of Section 112 -the infamous lese majeste law - to vent their displeasure outside the Constitutional Court after hearing the court's ruling on Wednesday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Supporters of three activists throw leaflets calling for the abolition of Section 112 -the infamous lese majeste law - to vent their displeasure outside the Constitutional Court after hearing the court's ruling on Wednesday. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has warned the Constitutional Court’s ruling against young protesters on Wednesday may trigger a social explosion, and asked those in power not to view the young generation as enemies.

The opposition party also shrugged off a move to dissolve it. 

MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon on Thursday led party MPs in remarks at a press conference in response to a move by Natthaporn Toprayoon, a former adviser to the Ombudsman, to seek the dissolution of the MFP.

Mr Natthaporn cited the Constitutional Court ruling that three activists -- Arnon Nampa, Panupong "Mike" Jadnok and Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul -- had attempted to overthrow the state and the monarchy in their speeches. He said political organisations were linked to the activists’ movements.

On Wednesday, the court said the three activists attempted to overthrow the democratic institution with the King as head of state in demands made during a rally at Thammasat University Rangsit campus on Aug 10, 2020 and on other occasions afterwards.

The activists listed 10 demands in a manifesto delivered at Thammasat and at subsequent events, including a call for reform of the monarchy and the abolition of Section 112, known as the lese majeste law.

Mr Natthaporn, who filed a petition with the court, said in a press interview after the ruling that he would submit evidence to the Election Commission to seek the dissolution of the MFP.

The MFP secretary-general said the court ruling may raise political tension because the government, state officials and certain political groups would from now on use the court ruling as a basis to suppress freedom of expression by claiming that such speech was tantamount to trying to topple the constitutional monarchy. This may result in an extreme political polarisation.  

“The MFP is adamant that to ease political conflicts, we must must rely on exploring truth that seems awkward. Don’t view that as a threat to the country. Don’t view the future of the nation (young generation) as foes,’’said Mr Chaithawat.

Allegations that MFP MPs had observed street protests and helped bail out demonstrators who were detained in political cases, along with the party's proposals to amend the Criminal Code, including Section 112, could not be used as evidence to dissolve the party, said Mr Chaithawat.

Party MPs who bailed out those who were arrested had performed their duties as MPs and acted within the scope of the constitution, he added.

The secretary-general insisted the party was not worried about attempts to dissolve it, but was prepared for such an eventuality.  

“We will fight to the end regardless of pressure. The MFP is determined to oppose dictatorship by military coup-makers. We will fight to protect democracy,’’ he said.


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