Future Forward cries foul over loan case deadline

Future Forward cries foul over loan case deadline

The Election Commission (EC) has brushed off the Future Forward Party's (FFP) plea to present more evidence in a case involving a large party loan.

A source at the EC said the commission resolved not to extend Monday's deadline for the submission of documents, since the party had already been allowed 120 days to prepare evidence. Commissioners regard the move as a tactic to buy time.

The commission said the documents should not have taken long to gather because they should have been archived and readily available.

The commission agreed to hear the case in response to activist Srisuwan Janya's request in May that the EC investigate whether FFP leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit broke the law by extending a loan worth over 100 million baht to his own party.

In his petition against Mr Thanathorn, Mr Srisuwan cited Section 66 of the organic law on political parties, which bars any individual from handing money or assets to parties in excess of 10 million baht in any 12-month period.

Mr Thanathorn says he lent the money to fund election campaigning because the FFP was unable to raise enough funds in the short period after its launch on Oct 3, last year.

Nitipat Tampairoj, the FFP treasurer, said the party failed to meet the EC deadline because it had to collect more than 100 pages of evidence. The refusal of an extension could be viewed as bullying, he added, before urging commissioners to reconsider their decision.

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