Thanathorn officially ceases duty after being sworn in

Thanathorn officially ceases duty after being sworn in

Future Forward leader complies with court order, says he will work for change outside Parliament

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit gives party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul a hug before leaving the House's meeting room at TOT Plc on Saturday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit gives party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul a hug before leaving the House's meeting room at TOT Plc on Saturday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit officially ceased his MP duties by the order of the Constitutional Court, minutes after being sworn in on Saturday.

The House of Representatives, the 25th since 1932, convened on Saturday morning to elect its speaker and deputies at the TOT Plc auditorium on Chaeng Watthana Road in Bangkok.

Acting House speaker Chai Chidchob, 91, from the Bhumjaithai Party, started by swearing in the 498 MPs present at 10.22am. The other two MPs have yet to be endorsed by the Election Commission (EC).   

They vowed to perform their duties honestly for the benefit of the country and the people and to uphold the constitution.

The MPs were subsequently given a few minutes to take photos.

After that, Mr Chai asked the House secretary-general to read the order of the Constitutional Court for Mr Thanathorn to stop performing his MP duties until the court delivers a ruling.

Earlier, the EC asked the court to decide whether Mr Thanathorn was qualified when he applied to run as an because he was holding shares in a media company, a ground for disqualification. It also asked the court to suspend him from performing his MP duties until the ruling is made. The court agreed and Mr Thanathorn now has 15 days to submit a defence.

After the order was read, Mr Thanathorn walked up to a microphone amid protests. Mr Chai explained that although he was already an MP, he did not have the right to speak at this stage.

Mr Thanathorn finally managed to speak. It turned out he simply asked the acting speaker for permission to leave, saying he would stop performing his duty until the court delivered its ruling. Future Forward MPs and those from the anti-regime alliance to which FFP belongs gave him an extended standing ovation as he walked out even as Mr Chai tried to stop them, saying the venue was not a "theatre".

Outside the auditorium, Mr Thanathorn told reporters that being an MP doesn’t involve only parliamentary work. “I’ll work outside by talking more to people to learn about their problems and convey them to our fellow MPs,” he said.


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