Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha strongly opposed the amendment of the lésé majéste law or Section 112 of the Criminal Code, following political parties’ contradictions yesterday, November 3rd.
This followed an open letter from prominent oppositional political party ‘Pheu Thai’ on Sunday, stating that they would propose a controversial law amendment on the agenda of the next parliamentary meeting as pro-democracy activists have been demanding and fighting for the change through several political gatherings.
The progressive oppositional ‘Move Forward’ party and the ‘Progressive Movement’ foundation also stood up to their democratic political ideology and supported the amendment proposal in order to end the social conflict in Thailand.
Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the co-founder of the Progressive Movement, stated to the Press that Section 112 had a lot of vulnerabilities and flaws that obstruct the development of democratic society.
He said: “The penalty of Section 112 is imprisonment of as high as 3-15 years, which is too high for a penalty rate. Even when compared to the era of absolute monarchy, the punishment at the time was no more than seven years. The punishment is considered the highest defamation penalty rate in the world. There is no place as high as this.”
“Nowadays, statistics of litigation of Section 112 have occurred on more than 150 cases so far. This proves that Section 112 is not just a law but it will come alive again just anytime, depending on the political context.”
Meanwhile, all coalition parties, such as the Democrat, Palang Pracharat, Bhumjaithai, Thai Pakdee, Kla, had argued against any amendment or abolishment of the law in all aspects.
Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES) and the Executive Committee of the Palang Pracharat Party, stated that Section 112 is an important law related to the monarchy and the country’s stability.
“Therefore, the Palang Pracharat Party and all the coalition parties have declared their disagreement of a proposal of a 112 amendment because the law is already appropriate and universal. Section 112 will surely exist in the Thai Constitution,” the Minister added.
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