Charter court rejects petition against poll body
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Charter court rejects petition against poll body

Complainant said EC was negligent for not stopping Move Forward from campaigning on lese-majeste last year

(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Constitutional Court has thrown out a petition alleging the Election Commission committed dereliction of duty for letting the Move Forward Party make amending the lese-majeste law part of its campaign platform in the May 2023 election.

The court on Wednesday resolved unanimously to reject the petition filed by Thoranit Mansri.

The petitioner had asked the court to rule on whether the EC had violated Section 49 of the constitution by not preventing Move Forward for campaigning to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese-majeste law.

The commission’s inaction was tantamount to dereliction of duty as it could be seen as supporting the party’s move to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, Mr Thoranit alleged.

The court rejected the petition partly on technical grounds, saying the documents submitted did not show the petitioner wanting the court to issue an order under Section 49. Consequently, it was not considered a valid petition under Section 49, ruled the court.

The issue could be moot in any case since the Election Commission ultimately brought its own complaint to the Constitutional Court on March 12 this year. It cited the court’s earlier ruling against the party’s policy on the lese-majeste law.

The EC argued that the main opposition party was in violation of Section 92 of the organic law on political parties. The section gives the Constitutional Court the power to dissolve any political party seen as threatening the constitutional monarchy.

The court agreed unanimously on Jan 31 that Move Forward must cease all attempts to amend the Section 112, and that campaigning on the issue is considered an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

The party has been given a final deadline of June 2 to submit its defence in the case.

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