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Move Forward Party Challenges Election Commission’s Push for Dissolution

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Move Forward leader Chaithawat Tulathon (centre right) and his predecessor Pita Limjaroenrat hold a press conference after learning of the Constitutional Court ruling on Jan 31 on the party’s attempts to amend the lese-majeste law. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The Move Forward Party (MFP) is not backing down. On Friday, they declared the Election Commission’s (EC) attempt to dissolve the party was fundamentally flawed. They argued the EC skipped essential steps mandated by the organic law on political parties, sparking criticism and controversy. The main opposition party’s response came after the EC’s clarification on Thursday, which many felt bypassed a crucial step: fact-finding and thorough investigation.

EC member Pakorn Mahannop cited Section 92 of the organic law as their basis for the decision, which allows the commission to request the party’s dissolution by the Constitutional Court without conducting an inquiry. However, MFP leader Chaithawat Tulathon didn’t agree with this rationale. Drawing attention to Sections 92 and 93, he stressed that these sections are interconnected. According to Tulathon, both sections indicate that the MFP should have been given an opportunity to defend itself before the case went to the Constitutional Court.

Section 92 stipulates that if there’s credible evidence that a political party is taking actions deemed harmful to the constitutional monarchy, the EC can file for the party’s dissolution. On the other hand, Section 93 states that the political party registrar should gather facts and evidence and present these to the EC for further consideration. This process follows the commission’s specified rules and methods.

“The EC’s decision is built on shaky grounds,” remarked Mr. Chaithawat, highlighting that to dissolve a party under Section 92, the EC must still align with Section 93’s guidelines.

The drive to dissolve the MFP came in the wake of a January 31 ruling. The court found the party’s continuous efforts to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese-majeste law, hinted at intentions to undermine the constitutional monarchy. But Mr. Chaithawat was quick to draw a parallel, “Even a pickpocket caught red-handed must undergo a thorough investigation process before facing prosecution.”

“Dissolving a political party is a monumental step that requires detailed fact-finding and investigation. The law must be followed to the letter, not just interpreted loosely,” he asserted.

According to Mr. Chaithawat, the court’s ruling against their campaign to amend the lese-majeste law doesn’t exempt the EC from the diligent process of evidence gathering.

“There’s a clear distinction between the process of gathering evidence and the credibility of that evidence,” he said, emphasizing the party’s plan to highlight this in their defense.

MFP chief adviser Pita Limjaroenrat weighed in as well. He pointed out that when the EC pursued a dissolution case against the now-defunct Future Forward Party (FFP), it adhered to the 2017 regulations, which involved investigative processes for criminal cases. The court had then ruled that the EC was not bound to follow every step strictly.

However, the landscape shifted in 2024 with new regulations on fact-finding and evidence-gathering. Under these new rules, the EC is obligated to follow them when seeking to dissolve a party under Sections 92 and 93, remarked Mr. Pita.


  1. Joey_89 June 14, 2024

    This entire move to dissolve the MFP seems like a blatant abuse of power by the EC!

    • Marie L. June 14, 2024

      Agreed, Joey, it’s like they’re using legal loopholes to shut down opposition.

      • Paul G. June 14, 2024

        Or maybe the MFP really just crossed the line with their attempts to amend the lese-majeste law!

    • Skeptic_99 June 14, 2024

      Let’s not forget, the legal framework allows the EC to take these actions. It’s not like they’re acting without basis.

    • Joey_89 June 14, 2024

      But Skeptic_99, skipping proper investigation undermines the integrity of the process!

  2. Sandy T. June 14, 2024

    Honestly, why is this even an issue? The MFP knew what they were getting into when they challenged the lese-majeste law.

    • Markus June 14, 2024

      That’s one way to look at it, but everyone deserves a fair process, Sandy.

    • Sandy T. June 14, 2024

      Fair process or not, challenging monarchy laws is a bold move that comes with risks.

  3. AuntyMae June 14, 2024

    Is it just me or does Pita make a valid point about the 2024 regulations being different?

    • Herald55 June 14, 2024

      Pita’s point is definitely valid. Different regulations mean the EC should have adjusted their process.

    • ChaoticGood June 14, 2024

      Sure, but does it really matter if the end result is dissolving a party that’s causing issues?

    • AuntyMae June 14, 2024

      Yes, it matters. The process needs to be just and transparent!

  4. xX_KnightRider_Xx June 14, 2024

    I think MFP is just whining because they got caught!

    • Neo_Thinker June 14, 2024

      Are they really whining, or are they just pointing out inconsistencies in the process?

  5. Lydia W. June 14, 2024

    I’m more concerned about the long-term implications. What happens to democracy if the EC can dissolve parties like this?

  6. Tom da Bomb June 14, 2024

    What’s done is done. The Constitutional Court already ruled against them.

    • Rita Sue June 14, 2024

      Tom, rulings can be revisited if the process is found to be flawed.

    • Tom da Bomb June 14, 2024

      Yeah, but that’s a long shot. FFP is already defunct and MFP might follow.

  7. Sunshine77 June 14, 2024

    People should really read up on the sections of the law before deciding who’s right or wrong here.

  8. Kapil Dev June 14, 2024

    Exactly! The law is complex and often, both sides have some valid points.

  9. Sophia A. June 14, 2024

    I think Pita’s arguments about the 2017 vs 2024 regulations make this case more complicated.

    • Rajesh R. June 14, 2024

      It’s definitely complicated. Law isn’t black and white; it’s shades of grey.

  10. Chomper77 June 14, 2024

    Not too savvy on politics, but can someone break down section 92 and 93 for me?

    • ProfessorLaw June 14, 2024

      Section 92 allows EC to dissolve a party if there is harmful activity to the monarchy. Section 93 requires thorough investigation. Both should ideally work together.

  11. Amy Wilkinson June 14, 2024

    Even if they’re technically right, is anyone considering the impact on public trust?

  12. Ricardo M. June 14, 2024

    Public trust is already low. More legal maneuvering won’t help.

  13. Curious_Cat June 14, 2024

    What does dissolving MFP mean for future parties and political freedom?

  14. Janet June 14, 2024

    It sets a dangerous precedent. Any party stepping out of line could face similar actions.

    • Bobby June 14, 2024

      Dangerous, yes, but maybe it’ll deter harmful actions?

  15. Legal_Eagle June 14, 2024

    EC needs to follow the process to maintain legitimacy, otherwise, they’re undermining the democratic fabric.

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