Future Forward Party's spectacular rise and fall

Future Forward Party's spectacular rise and fall

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, centre, leader of the now-defunct Future Forward Party, at a meeting to map out plans to censure the government in February. Chanat Katanyu
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, centre, leader of the now-defunct Future Forward Party, at a meeting to map out plans to censure the government in February. Chanat Katanyu

Despite being a newcomer to Thai politics, the FFP stunned both the public and politicians with its remarkable performance in the March 24, 2019 election when it won more than 80 House seats via both the constituency and party list systems.

The FFP's "unconventional" political stance, which promised a break from the old politics, was communicated to its followers of mostly young people via Twitter and other social media outlets. The FFP applied for party registration in March 2018 and was endorsed by the Election Commission on Oct 31 that year. Under the leadership of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, many party candidates, who were political novices, defeated veteran politicians in several constituencies. The party won more than 6 million votes in the poll.

With 80 House seats, Future Forward became the third largest party after the Pheu Thai Party and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

However, the party and its allies led by Pheu Thai became the opposition as the PPRP-led coalition succeeded in forming a new government.

On Nov 20, 2019, the Constitutional Court disqualified Mr Thanathorn as an MP over shares he owned in V-Luck Media Co, a media firm, at the time of registration of his election candidacy, in violation of the constitution.

The same court ruled on Feb 21, 2020 to dissolve the FFP and ban its executives from politics for 10 years, over a 191.2-million-baht loan the party accepted from its leader, Mr Thanathorn, in breach of the political parties law.

The FFP's existence lasted only one year, four months and 18 days. After the dissolution, the FFP was reborn as the Move Forward Party (MFP) and took most of the remaining MPs of the disbanded party, with Pita Limjaroenrat taking the helm. Mr Pita said the party remained committed to the ideology of the FFP.

Mr Thanathorn and other former FFP executive members also formed the Progressive Movement group to engage in politics outside parliament, working in hand and glove with the MFP which focuses on its parliamentary role.

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