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Move Forward Party Faces Crucial Constitutional Court Ruling on Lese-Majeste Law Reforms

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Move Forward leader Chaithawat Tulathon, flanked by his predecessor Pita Limjaroenrat, addressed a room buzzing with anticipation as they held a press conference. The subject? A crucial ruling by the Constitutional Court regarding the party’s effort to reform the controversial lese-majeste law. (Photo Credit: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

This past Wednesday, the Constitutional Court announced it had officially received the written defence from the Move Forward Party related to its dissolution case. Mark your calendars for June 12, though it’s still up in the air whether the court will deliver its ruling on that date.

The defence statement arrived at the court courtesy of the opposition party on Tuesday, following the last of three 15-day grace periods granted by the court. An identical copy of the document has also been dispatched to the Election Commission (EC), the plaintiff driving the party’s dissolution case.

The court advised that both the poll body and the party should refrain from public commentary to avoid swaying public opinion or affecting the court’s decision-making process.

Move Forward previously mentioned they would hold a press conference on June 9 to discuss their defence statement’s intricacies. However, given recent events, it’s anyone’s guess if that press conference will still take place.

Rewind to March, when the EC lodged a petition requesting the court to consider dissolving the party, stemming from the court’s decision on January 31. The ruling? The Move Forward Party’s attempts to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code—commonly referred to as the lese-majeste law—hinted at a devious scheme to undermine Thailand’s cherished constitutional monarchy.

Relying on this ruling, the EC contended that the party contravened Section 92 of the nation’s organic law regarding political parties. This specific section empowers the court to dissolve any party found to be jeopardizing the constitutional monarchy’s sanctity.

A petition to investigate was accepted by the court on April 3.

In their fiery submission, the plaintiff urged the court to not only ax the party but to banish its executives from standing in elections. Additionally, they requested a ten-year prohibition on these individuals serving as executives in any new political party, anchored by Sections 92 and 94 of the law.

The amendments tabled by Move Forward proposed a groundbreaking shift: only the Bureau of the Royal Household should be able to file lese-majeste complaints. Presently, any Tom, Dick, or Harry can lodge a royal defamation complaint against anyone else, obliging the police to dive into an investigation. According to Move Forward, this loophole has been exploited by politicians and influential figures to quash dissenting voices.

The Move Forward Party also argued for lighter sentences for lese-majeste convictions. As it stands, a conviction under Section 112 commands a stiff 3 to 15 years behind bars. Courts often point to the gravity of the offence—underscored by these lengthy sentences—as grounds for denying bail to individuals awaiting trial or appealing their convictions.


  1. Sarah M. June 5, 2024

    Why are they even trying to change the lese-majeste law? It seems like they’re trying to destabilize our whole political system!

    • move4wardfan20 June 5, 2024

      I think they have a point. The current law is way too harsh and is often misused to silence people.

      • Sarah M. June 5, 2024

        Misused or not, some things are just too sacred to change. What’s next, removing the monarchy altogether?

    • Judy A. June 5, 2024

      Nobody said anything about removing the monarchy. Just making the law more reasonable.

      • Traditionalist123 June 5, 2024

        But changing the law might lead to questioning the monarch, which is not acceptable in our society.

  2. Lee June 5, 2024

    The courts should dissolve the Move Forward Party. They’re breaking the law and undermining our monarch!

    • PitaFan2023 June 5, 2024

      Dissolving an entire party for proposing legal reforms? That’s an extreme response, don’t you think?

      • Lee June 5, 2024

        They should have thought about it before messing with the lese-majeste law. Actions have consequences.

      • FreedomLover June 5, 2024

        No law should be above reform, especially one that’s been exploited like this.

  3. Roger K. June 5, 2024

    If they dissolve Move Forward, it’s a clear sign that we’re moving backward, not forward.

    • Chang T. June 5, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more. Political diversity is crucial for a healthy democracy.

      • MonarchySupporter June 5, 2024

        Political diversity is one thing, but they’re blatantly attacking our traditions.

      • Roger K. June 5, 2024

        Reforming isn’t attacking, it’s about improving systems to be fairer.

  4. Linda G. June 5, 2024

    3 to 15 years of jail for lese-majeste is excessive. Reform is necessary!

    • ConservativeThai June 5, 2024

      You think 3 to 15 years is excessive? What about the damage done to our nation’s unity?

      • Linda G. June 5, 2024

        Unity shouldn’t come at the cost of freedom of speech and basic human rights.

  5. Anwar June 5, 2024

    Here’s an idea: If you don’t like the laws of a country, move somewhere else.

  6. Elena C. June 5, 2024

    The reality is that the lese-majeste law has been abused. Politicians and influential figures use it to stifle dissent. This can’t be right for any democratic society.

  7. Jake1975 June 5, 2024

    In every country, there are sacred laws. This is ours. Respect it.

  8. Pita Supporter June 5, 2024

    Move Forward is fighting a noble cause. The law is draconian and must be revised.

  9. Mark June 5, 2024

    You can’t just rewrite history on your terms. These laws were put in place for a reason.

    • Nicole J. June 5, 2024

      But society evolves, laws should too, don’t you think?

  10. StudentActivist June 5, 2024

    We must support Move Forward! They are standing up against archaic laws and defending our future.

  11. Chang K. June 5, 2024

    June 12 can’t come soon enough. Let’s see what the court decides.

  12. Beth June 5, 2024

    The lese-majeste law needs amending not eliminating. Like the proposal, only the Bureau of Royal Household should be able to file complaints.

    • Tim June 5, 2024

      That sounds more reasonable, but I doubt the court will go for it.

  13. Nina June 5, 2024

    What’s the point of having a non-amendable law anyway? Do we live in a medieval kingdom?

  14. Pat June 5, 2024

    Move Forward knew what they were getting into. There’s a price to pay for challenging the status quo.

    • Ginger L. June 5, 2024

      And that’s why brave leaders are necessary—for challenging outdated norms.

  15. RobertoS June 5, 2024

    The court better be unbiased and focus on democratic principles. Any sign of bias will backfire.

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