MFP urged to tactically unite
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MFP urged to tactically unite

Dissolution law also threatens Pheu Thai

Piyabutr: Urges unity in face of threat
Piyabutr: Urges unity in face of threat

The Progressive Movement (PM) has urged the ruling Pheu Thai Party and the opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) to unite and fight a dissolution law rather than attack each other.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the PM secretary-general, posted on his Facebook account on Thursday that the two largest parties should find common ground and come together to resist what he said was some unjust legislation regarding the dissolution of parties, set by the "old guards", which is equally binding on all parties.

He was referring to this week's parliamentary debate during which MFP leader Chaithawat Tulathon and Pheu Thai spokesman Danuporn Punakanta traded barbs over the national budget plan.

Mr Chaithawat criticised the government for being preoccupied with its controversial digital wallet scheme -- Pheu Thai's flagship policy that will cost half a trillion baht -- at the expense of the country's future.

The opposition claimed Pheu Thai could not accept the collapse of the nation's coffers but would go to any lengths to save face over its digital wallet programme.

Mr Danuporn, in reply, referred to the Constitutional Court's proceedings over whether to dissolve the MFP over its efforts to change Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, which is being interpreted as an intention to undermine the constitutional monarchy.

That was the real problem, he implied.

Mr Piyabutr, a law expert, said the MFP and Pheu Thai should get over the "chickens in a coop" mentality where parties attack each other within the confines of the laws, as these were written by the "elites" to wrap politicians around their fingers.

Parties across the divide should rally in their opposition to the law pertaining to a party's forcible dissolution, as that could also happen to them, he said.

Pheu Thai has faced a petition by Sonthiya Sawasdee, a former adviser to the House committee on law, justice and human rights, seeking to disband it for allowing former prime minister -- and ex-party leader -- Thaksin Shinawatra to gain control over the party.

Thaksin is considered an outsider under the organic law on parties, which prohibits a party from being knowingly influenced by him. He is seen as a behind-the-scenes powermaker nonetheless. However, the Election Commission officials threw out the petition last August due to a lack of compelling evidence.

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