Thanathorn eyes half of local administration seats

Thanathorn eyes half of local administration seats

Progressive Movement aims for 4,000 of 7,800 seats

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement, speaks at a training session for prospective candidates for local elections at the Thai Summit building in Bangkok on Saturday. (Photo from Progressive Movement)
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Progressive Movement, speaks at a training session for prospective candidates for local elections at the Thai Summit building in Bangkok on Saturday. (Photo from Progressive Movement)

The Progressive Movement, an offshoot of the disbanded Future Forward Party led by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, aims to field candidates for more than half the seats in local administration elections.

The auto-parts tycoon, who set foot in Parliament for only one day before being suspended from MP duty and banned from politics later, said the movement would find candidates to vie for 4,000 of 7,800 seats at local administrative organisations nationwide.

“We will field candidates to compete in local elections at all levels under the same banner, ideologies and policy frameworks,” he said at a training session for the new candidates held in Bangkok on Saturday.

The goal will be to continue the FFP’s “ideas campaign” such as rewriting the constitution and ending monopolies and centralisation.

He viewed the elections, the first in seven years if they go ahead later this year, would provide a chance to offer something new to communities.

He also saw them as part of the struggle against dictatorship. “Since the 2014 military coup, the military has wanted to centralise power by replacing heads of local administrations with civil servants or soldiers, who have taken part in allocating local budgets."

In November, the Constitutional Court disqualified Mr Thanathorn as an MP for having media shares while applying to run as a candidate in the election in March 2019.

Three months later, the same court dissolved the FFP and banned its 10 executives for 10 years for accepting what the court viewed as ill-gotten gains from him in the form of a loan. 

After that, its remaining 50 MPs joined an existing party that had no MP and rebranded it as the Move Forward Party. Mr Thanathorn and the banned executives formed the Progressive Movement to push the same agenda outside Parliament.


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