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Move Forward Party Leader Chaithawat Tulathon Defies Constitutional Court: Press Conference Set Amid Dissolution Threat

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The Move Forward Party (MFP) has firmly pledged to disregard a warning from the Constitutional Court, which advised against public statements that could impact court proceedings. As the party faces a case that might lead to its dissolution, Party leader Chaithawat Tulathon, on Thursday, declared their intention to proceed with a planned press conference on Sunday. This event aims to lay out to the public how they intend to defend themselves in the ongoing legal battle.

“The explanation will remain consistent with what has already been detailed in the defence statement submitted to the court. Thus, the press conference should not influence the court’s deliberation,” asserted Mr. Chaithawat. The court is scheduled to hear the case next Wednesday, but the timeline for a ruling remains uncertain.

The defence statement was submitted to the court on Tuesday, following the last of three 15-day extensions granted by the court. Both the Election Commission (EC) and the party were cautioned to avoid public comments that could sway public opinion or affect the judicial process.

Mr. Chaithawat revealed that the party has several witnesses prepared to testify before the court. “It is up to the court to decide whether to allow them,” he mentioned.

The EC filed a petition to dissolve the party back in March. This followed a court ruling on January 31st, where the Move Forward was found to have pursued amendments to Section 112 of the Criminal Code, commonly known as the lese-majeste law, suggesting an intention to weaken the constitutional monarchy.

Based on this ruling, the EC argued that the party breached Section 92 of the organic law on political parties. This section empowers the court to dissolve any party perceived as a threat to the constitutional monarchy. Consequently, the EC requested the court not only to disband the party but also to strip its executives of their right to run in elections. Furthermore, the commission sought to ban those executives from registering or serving as executives of any new party for a decade, under Sections 92 and 94 of the relevant law.

The amendments proposed by Move Forward included a stipulation that any lese-majeste complaint must be filed exclusively by the Bureau of the Royal Household. Currently, any person or group can file a royal defamation complaint, obliging police to investigate. According to the party, this law has been misused by politicians and authority figures to suppress dissent.

The party has also advocated for reduced sentences for lese-majeste convictions. As it stands, a conviction under Section 112 carries a sentence ranging from 3 to 15 years. Courts often cite the severity of this offence, based on these sentences, as the rationale for denying bail to individuals awaiting trial or appealing their convictions.


  1. James T June 6, 2024

    MFP’s stance is pretty bold given the stakes. Why not just follow the court’s warning to stay out of trouble?

    • Lily June 6, 2024

      Maybe they think the court is being too heavy-handed. Isn’t freedom of speech crucial in a democracy?

      • James T June 6, 2024

        Sure, but isn’t there a line when it comes to judicial processes? You can’t just say whatever you want about an ongoing case.

      • SunnyDays23 June 6, 2024

        But if the legal system is being used to silence opposition, shouldn’t that be called out?

  2. Anna P June 6, 2024

    The lese-majeste law is just medieval. People should be able to voice dissent without fear of long prison sentences.

    • Tim June 6, 2024

      You’re sidelining the fact that insulting the monarchy is a serious issue in some cultures!

      • Anna P June 6, 2024

        Cultures evolve. Why should the law protect the monarchy more than the people it’s supposed to serve?

      • Sam_98 June 6, 2024

        Besides, the abuse of this law to suppress political opponents is undeniable.

    • Pierre June 6, 2024

      But why did MFP push for these changes now? They must know it’s a sensitive topic.

  3. FreedomWarrior June 6, 2024

    The EC and the courts are just instruments of the establishment to crush any real opposition. MFP is doing the right thing by standing up!

    • Sam Lee June 6, 2024

      So you’re saying breaking the law is okay if you disagree with it?

      • FreedomWarrior June 6, 2024

        When the law is unjust and used to suppress freedom, yes, absolutely!

      • RealPolitik June 6, 2024

        But the law is the law. If MFP wants to change it, they have to play by the rules first.

  4. Jenny C June 6, 2024

    Isn’t this whole case more about political survival than justice?

  5. AsianPerspective June 6, 2024

    Westerners will never understand the importance of monarchy in our society.

    • LibertyLover June 6, 2024

      Importance doesn’t justify oppression. Democracies have concepts like human rights for a reason.

      • AsianPerspective June 6, 2024

        Human rights aren’t a one-size-fits-all. Cultures are different!

      • Tom J June 6, 2024

        This is why cultural relativism can be so problematic. Basic rights should be universal.

  6. BigFanOfMFP June 6, 2024

    That press conference is going to be lit. The establishment should be worried.

  7. Richard H June 6, 2024

    MFP knows the risks but are willing to face them. That’s leadership.

  8. Skeptic101 June 6, 2024

    I doubt anything they say will make a difference. Courts have already made up their minds.

    • Optimist44 June 6, 2024

      You never know, public pressure can sometimes work wonders.

      • Skeptic101 June 6, 2024

        We’ll see. Courts are usually pretty insulated from public opinion here.

  9. Alice June 6, 2024

    What happens if the MFP gets dissolved? Who will lead the opposition?

    • John D June 6, 2024

      No one significant enough. The establishment would win.

  10. Observer77 June 6, 2024

    There’s too much at stake. MFP should tread carefully.

    • BoldMove June 6, 2024

      Careful doesn’t bring change. Bold actions do!

  11. Tanya L June 6, 2024

    I respect their defiance, but is it worth risking the whole party?

    • Braveheart June 6, 2024

      Yes! Better to fight and lose than to never fight at all.

  12. NathanX June 6, 2024

    If MFP is outlawed, it will only strengthen their support base. People are tired of the status quo.

  13. InsightfulEd June 6, 2024

    This case is complex. The lese-majeste law has historical roots, but it’s being twisted for political gains.

  14. Angela P June 6, 2024

    Totally oppose the press conference. Court proceedings should not be influenced by public opinion.

    • Dave June 6, 2024

      Agreed. Legal cases should be about facts, not public sentiment.

  15. Max Power June 6, 2024

    It’s a political stunt. They know they’re going down and just want to make noise.

  16. Supporter June 6, 2024

    More power to Chaithawat! Thailand needs change, and MFP is the key.

    • Charlie June 6, 2024

      I support them too. But is this the best strategy?

  17. Levi D June 6, 2024

    This case shows everything that’s wrong with Thai politics.

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