The Constitutional Court of Thailand has ruled that the Move Forward Party’s (MFP) proposals and efforts to amend the lese-majeste law is unconstitutional and an attempt to overthrow the country’s constitutional monarchy system.
The court’s ruling, issued on Wednesday, January 31st, has triggered concerns about the party’s future and potential dissolution.
The court issued a cease order against the MFP, effectively halting any further activities related to amending the controversial law. This verdict opens the door for potential legal action seeking the party’s dissolution. In fact, former Senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana has said he will file a petition to the Charter Court to disband the Move Forward Party tomorrow, February 1st, after the court ruling.
According to reports, petitions can be filed with the Election Commission (EC), alleging that the MFP’s actions violated Section 49 of the constitution, as interpreted by the court. If the EC finds the MFP guilty in the petition, it may request the court to dissolve the party under Section 92 of the political party law. This section allows for the party dissolution and a 10-year ban on participation in elections for its executives, including Pita Limjaroenrat, the MFP former party leader, if found guilty of violating Section 49.
Additionally, if a petition is filed with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), and they determine the MFP’s actions constitute grave ethical misconduct, all 44 MFP MPs, including Pita, who submitted the lese-majeste amendment proposals, could face a lifetime ban from politics.
Despite vehemently insisting that the proposals were to amend, not revoke, the lese majeste law, the Constitutional Court’s ruling today and the potential for dissolution cast a dark shadow over the MFP’s future.
In an immediate press conference after the ruling senior members of the MFP again denied they intended to overthrow the constitutional monarchy or revoke the Lese Majeste law and insisted they only wanted to amend the law. MFP leaders said they only wanted to work for citizens to create an equal society.