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Constitutional Court Showdown: Piyabutr Saengkanokkul Defends MFP Dissolution Case

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The Progressive Movement (PM), a key political ally of the main opposition Move Forward Party (MFP), made a compelling argument on Monday about why the Constitutional Court will likely throw out the dissolution case against the MFP. These insights were shared by Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the PM’s secretary-general, via his vibrant and always engaging Facebook account. The message arrived with an air of urgency, just a day before the high-stakes court proceedings were set to commence.

Mr. Piyabutr didn’t mince words, accusing the Election Commission (EC) of falling short in adhering to Section 93 of the organic law on political parties. This section spells out, in meticulous detail, the legal procedure that the EC, as the law’s enforcer, must follow. The failure to follow these guidelines, Mr. Piyabutr contends, renders the petition against the MFP illegitimate. His background as a former associate professor at the Faculty of Law at Thammasat University adds weight to his argument.

The crux of Mr. Piyabutr’s contention lies in the EC’s apparent inability to fully inform the MFP of the grounds for its dissolution. He asserted that the EC didn’t give the MFP a fair chance to defend itself against the allegations. This procedural misstep, according to him, violates the principles of natural justice and transparency that are cornerstone to any democratic process.

The backstory is just as riveting. The EC’s decision to ask the Constitutional Court to disband the MFP stemmed from a previous court ruling on January 31. That ruling indicated that the MFP’s endeavor to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, commonly known as the lese majeste law, was seen as an attempt to undermine the constitutional monarchy. But here’s the twist: Mr. Piyabutr argued that had the EC scrupulously performed its duties under Section 93, the MFP would have had a robust opportunity to contest the petition during the fact-finding investigation phase.

The EC, for its part, seemed to stand by its actions. Last week, it defended its conduct in the case, though the MFP continues to assert that the EC’s efforts fell woefully short of what’s expected in such serious matters.

Adding another layer of intrigue to the already convoluted saga, political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana announced on Monday his plans to petition the court to examine attempts by MFP chief adviser Pita Limjaroenrat to interfere with court proceedings. Mr. Ruangkrai’s allegations point to Mr. Pita’s public address on June 9, where he elaborated on the 70-page written defense the MFP had earlier submitted to the court. Ruangkrai claimed that this move was a deliberate effort to spread misleading information, thereby complicating the court’s task.

In the whirlwind that is Thai politics, the story is anything but simple. With stakes this high, and with dramatic twists at every turn, it’s clear that the journey of the MFP and its allies will continue to captivate and engage audiences. Will justice prevail, or are we in for more unexpected turns? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the court’s decision will be pivotal in shaping the political landscape of Thailand.


  1. Sophie M. June 17, 2024

    I think Piyabutr makes a very solid argument. The failure of the EC to adhere to Section 93 discredits the whole petition. If due process wasn’t followed, then why should the court even consider this case?

    • Brian S June 17, 2024

      Solid argument or not, the EC’s actions must have had a legal basis, otherwise they wouldn’t have proceeded. Rules are important, but so is the intent behind them.

      • Sophie M. June 17, 2024

        But intent alone can’t excuse procedural violations. If we start overlooking legal procedures, democracy itself is at risk.

    • Laura G90 June 17, 2024

      Exactly! The EC should be held accountable. Clear and transparent processes are the bedrock of democracy.

  2. kitkat123 June 17, 2024

    It’s all a political witch hunt. The establishment is scared of the MFP because they challenge the status quo.

    • Scholar1 June 17, 2024

      Calling it a witch hunt dismisses the legal intricacies involved. You need more than just rhetoric to prove such claims.

      • kitkat123 June 17, 2024

        Legal intricacies? It’s more about who controls the narrative. The MFP is a threat, so they’re being targeted. Open your eyes.

  3. Thomas Y. June 17, 2024

    The court should throw out the case. Violating procedural laws means the charges have no foothold. Simple as that.

    • Patricia E. June 17, 2024

      But what if the allegations are true? Just because a procedure was missed doesn’t automatically mean the charges are false.

      • Thomas Y. June 17, 2024

        True, but doesn’t a fair trial also require fair processes? We need both to ensure justice is genuinely served.

    • Ronnie June 17, 2024

      That’s a fair point, Thomas. Legal standards exist for a reason and should not be compromised.

  4. Yang Lei June 17, 2024

    It seems like another attempt to stifle opposition. MFP represents a new wave of political thought, which is evidently frightening to the traditional elites.

    • Analyst73 June 17, 2024

      And yet, these ‘traditional elites’ maintain stability in the nation. Change for the sake of change is not always productive.

      • Millwall_Fan June 18, 2024

        The ‘traditional elites’ have hardly maintained ‘stability’ as they endorsed, even allegedly assisted in organising the military coups that have taken place in recent decades, leading to decades of political stagnation and uncertainty. Thailand needs to revert to the 1999 constitution which was, at the time, agreed on by all sides and then have free and fair elections for both chambers of parliament. The military should be legally banned from mounting coups. Only then the country can move on in the interests of all Thai people and not just the ‘traditional elites’

  5. openminded2022 June 17, 2024

    I find Pita Limjaroenrat’s public address interesting. Is it really a case of interfering with court proceedings, or just an attempt to bring transparency?

    • lawstudent1 June 17, 2024

      Transparency cannot come at the cost of justice. If his statements were misleading, they could influence public opinion unfairly.

    • openminded2022 June 17, 2024

      Valid point. However, the public has a right to know what’s happening. Information should be accessible for democracy to truly function.

  6. Chloé June 17, 2024

    If the court rules against MFP, it will just confirm the fears many have about the judicial system being used for political ends.

    • Realist56 June 17, 2024

      It’s possible that the court might simply be upholding the law. Not every decision is politically motivated.

  7. Anonymous June 17, 2024

    This whole saga just shows the complexity of Thai politics. That’s why I stay away from political discussions.

  8. Peerapol June 17, 2024

    ผมคิดว่าการจะยุบพรรคแบบนี้มันไม่เหมาะสม มันเหมือนสร้างบรรทัดฐานที่ไม่ดีสำหรับประชาธิปไตยในไทย

    • Maggie June 18, 2024

      Yes, undermining democratic institutions for political gain can have long-term negative consequences. It erodes public trust.

  9. freesp33ch June 18, 2024

    Freedom of political expression is being threatened here. The MFP has the right to propose changes to laws, including Section 112.

    • Jerry June 18, 2024

      True, but changes to such sensitive laws should be done with caution. Lese majeste protects the nation’s unity.

      • freesp33ch June 18, 2024

        Caution is necessary, but not at the expense of progress. Reforming outdated laws is part of democracy.

    • freesp33ch June 18, 2024

      Absolutely, stifling debate on essential reforms harms the democratic process.

  10. Kevin June 18, 2024

    Honestly, this is why I don’t trust the government. They’re always trying to suppress any form of dissent.

    • Sophia L. June 18, 2024

      It’s more nuanced than that, Kevin. Governments have to balance various interests, but transparency and accountability are key.

  11. Layla June 18, 2024

    I’m not convinced either side is entirely right or wrong. There’s likely nuances we’re not fully aware of.

    • thinkingcap June 18, 2024

      Absolutely. Politics is rarely black and white. It’s all about navigating the gray areas.

  12. Carlos D. June 18, 2024

    Interesting to see how this plays out. If the MFP can prove procedural errors, then the court case might crumble. Otherwise, they’re in hot water.

  13. Jasmine June 18, 2024

    I think Ruangkrai’s allegations are just another layer of distraction. It seems like a desperate move.

  14. Imran June 18, 2024

    I’m really curious to see if the court will side with the MFP or the establishment. This will be a turning point in Thai politics.

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