Flash mob gathers in Thammasat to support FFP

Flash mob gathers in Thammasat to support FFP

A participant during a Thammasat University gathering to voice disagreement over the disbandment on Friday of the Future Forward Party.
A participant during a Thammasat University gathering to voice disagreement over the disbandment on Friday of the Future Forward Party.

Hundreds of people converged at Thammasat University's Tha Prachan campus on Saturday night to call for justice and democracy in response to the dissolution of the Future Forward Party (FFP) over a 191.2-million baht loan.

The gathering was called by the Student Union of Thailand via a Facebook message which invited people to join a "flash mob" from 5.30pm.

"There is no justice in this country," read the post, urging people to light candles to symbolise their call for justice. It also posted the message: "Dictatorship collapse, long live democracy".

Meanwhile, FFP spokeswoman Pannika Wanich will hold a talk titled "Outside-Parliament Censure Debate" this afternoon at the party's office in Thon Buri district.

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said yesterday the government had nothing to do with the Constitutional Court's decision.

He also said people have the right to rally, but they have to do it within the limits of the law, such as seeking permission, informing the authorities in advance and not obstructing traffic.

Pol Col Worasak Siribannakorn, chief of Chana Songkhram police station, said no officers had been deployed for the student union event as it was being held on private property.

He said police were only taking care of people's convenience and peace and order outside campus.

Wirote Lakkhana-adisorn, a list MP of the dissolved party, said he was confident the party's members will remain united, though he admitted it was not possible to tell MPs which party in parliament to join now FFP had been disbanded.

Asked if the rump of the grouping would still hold together without its key figures, who were banned by the court from politics for 10 years, he said the FFP had already transformed from a mere political party into an established ideology.

Chatchawal Khong-udom, leader of the Palang Thong Thin Thai Party, said up to 10 MPs from the dissolved FFP have contacted the party to discuss the possibility of joining.

Mr Chatchawal said preliminary negotiations were being held and it was up to the MPs to decide if they want to join his party, which is a member of the coalition.

Chatchai Chanpraisri, a member of the Election Commission, also said yesterday the case against FFP was not politically motivated and that it had actually been triggered by facts made known to the public by the former party leader.

He said the poll commissioners did nothing other than gather facts, review those facts and the political party law, and submit these findings to the Constitutional Court for review.

Separately, the US Embassy in Bangkok reacted to the disbanding of the FFP by saying the court decision risked disenfranchising the party's voters and raised questions about their representation within Thailand's electoral system.

It said the US strongly supports democratic governance around the world, and appreciates Thailand's recent seating of a democratically elected government.

It said that while the US does not favour or support any particular political party in Thailand, more than six million voters chose the Future Forward Party in the March 24 elections.

"The decision to disband the party risks disenfranchising those voters and raises questions about their representation within Thailand's electoral system," the embassy said in its statement.

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