NCPO 'suppresses public, hurts Thai image': Future Forward

NCPO 'suppresses public, hurts Thai image': Future Forward

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the founder of Thailand's Future Forward Party, looks on during the launch of the party in Bangkok on March 15, 2018. (Reuters file photo)
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the founder of Thailand's Future Forward Party, looks on during the launch of the party in Bangkok on March 15, 2018. (Reuters file photo)

In a statement on its Facebook page, Future Forward hit back at the ruling junta on Wednesday, accusing it of tarnishing Thailand’s image by threatening to file police charges against some party members.

"The NCPO used its power to suppress the public who have political views that differ from its own," the Future Forward Party said in a statement, referring to the junta by its official name, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

"The results of these actions have impacted and damaged the image of the country," it said on its official Facebook page.

The party launched this year – though it is yet to be approved by the Election Commission - hoping to woo young people and win backing from those seeking an alternative to military rule. It is led by an auto parts billionaire and newcomer to the political scene, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 39.

He and two party members met police on Tuesday after the junta filed a police complaint over a June 29 speech by Thanathorn shown on Facebook, accusing the trio of provoking a "public disturbance" and violating the Computer Crimes Act.

Police said they were reviewing the charges.

"We called them in for interrogation," Pol Lt Col Athilak Whangsirivorakoon, the deputy chief of the Technology Crime Suppression Division who investigates the case told Reuters by telephone. "If, after their testimony, we think there is evidence, then we will proceed with charges."

Reuters could not immediately reach an NCPO spokesman for comment.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, 64, the ex-army chief who led the coup, has shown signs of wanting to stay in power after next year's vote, touring the countryside to meet people in what critics say is his bid to continue in the job.


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