Bangkok: The dissolution of the Future Forward Party, February 21, 2020, at the order of Thailand’s Constitutional Court, further deepens Thai political instability. It destroys the public confidence in electoral politics, it lays bare the political role of the judiciary; in short, it proves a great setback for Thai democracy.
The Future Forward Party was dissolved because of a loan it received from its leader, Thanathorn Jungrungruangkit. The Constitutional Court ruled that the loan of around US$6 million to the Future Forward Party from Thanathorn was a donation and therefore illegal. All the executive members of the party were banned from politics for ten years.
The unprecedented electoral success for the party, winning more than six million votes at the last election in March 2019, despite only being formed less than a year before the polls, coupled with its anti-military platform, greatly alarmed Thailand’s establishment. No doubt, the ferocious and highly politicised verdict echoes more than just the question of the loan. The Future Forward Party was treated as a threat to the Thai traditional power holders and therefore eradicated.
The verdict of the dissolution will cause a huge impact on Thai politics in the short and long terms. The voice of six million voters is now worthless, public trust in electoral politics will further whither. The overt power and domination by the establishment in the Thai political domain is inescapable.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, co-founder of FORSEA, believes that the politicisation of the Constitutional Court does more harm to the future of Thailand. He also adds, “The invisible hands in Thai politics are no longer invisible. We know who was/were behinds the dissolution of the Future Forward Party”.
FORSEA condemns the unjust verdict against the Future Forward Party, and urges democratic governments around the world and international organisations, to protest against the politicised judicial system of Thailand.
Posted by FORSEA
Banner Image: In happier days. Bangkok, Thailand – April 6, 2019: Thailand’s Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Jungrungruangkit is mobbed by his supporters at a police station in Bangkok.. Credit: feelphoto / Shutterstock.com