Jade apologises to Future Forward

Jade apologises to Future Forward

Mistake could have consequences, but party disbandment is not one of them

A screen capture of the profile page of Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on the party's website.
A screen capture of the profile page of Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on the party's website.

Jade Donavanik, a former adviser to the Constitution Drafting Committee, has apologised to Future Forward for stating incorrectly that the party could be disbanded because of a mistake on its website.

While the mistake could have legal consequences, party disbandment was not one of them, the law professor said on Saturday.

“The punishment under that provision is just a fine, imprisonment or political ban,” says Assoc Prof Jade Donavanik. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The controversy arose after it was discovered that Future Forward published false information on its website about the qualifications of its leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

According to the website, he served as the president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) from 2008-12 when in fact he was the president of the federation’s Nakhon Nayok chapter.

Assoc Prof Jade had said the false profile information could violate Section 73(5) of the law on the election of MPs and the party could be disbanded. The clause covers enticing voters through deception, an offence punishable by party dissolution, he had said.  

But on Friday evening Assoc Prof Jade offered an apology to Mr Thanathorn, saying he was confused about the punishments for the offence.

“The punishment under that provision is just a fine, imprisonment or political ban,” he said. “The wrongdoer may not necessarily be Mr Thanathorn, a party executive or the party itself if they had nothing to do with it. It could apply only to the webmaster who might have had a misunderstanding. If he had no intent, he might not even be punished under criminal procedures.”

“We’re not worried,” says Future Forward spokeswoman Pannikar Vanich. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Party spokeswoman Pannikar Vanich later thanked Assoc Prof Jade and said she believed he meant well.

“However, if anyone sues us, we have a legal team ready to take action so we’re not worried,” she said.

Future Forward has already been singled out several times for criticism by the military regime and some of its hard-core supporters.

Police on Wednesday said they would push forward with charges against the party leader over a speech he made that was posted on Facebook last June criticising the National Council for Peace and Order.


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