Thai constitutional court suspends Thanathorn’s MP Status, impartiality questioned

On 23 May, the Constitutional Court ruled to suspend Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s MP status after accepting the Election Commission’s request to consider disqualifying him for holding shares in a media company.

9 judges of the Constitutional Court decided unanimously to accept a request by the Election Commission of Thailand, which accuses Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit of violating the law by holding shares in V-Luck Media Company. In accepting the ECT request, the Constitutional Court also ruled 8-1 to suspend Thanathorn’s MP status until the case is settled.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 40, leader of Future Forward Party, denied the allegations saying that he transferred the stakes on 8 January, long before he registered to be a MP candidate on February 6.

In the news conference, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said the Election Commission was too quick to request his suspension. The Election Commission requested the Constitutional Court to suspend his MP status on 16 May, but on 17 May called for further evidence to be submitted by 24 May.

On 29 April, the Pheu Thai Party, Future Forward’s ally, filed a complaint with the Election Commission to investigate if Chanwit Wiphusiri and Somsak Sukprasert, MPs of the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party, also hold stakes in media companies. However, the Election Commission still has not taken up the complaint.

“I would like to say that I, the leader of Future Forward Party, and 79 other MPs, still have not given up hope,” said Thanathorn. “Even though today I was suspended from acting as an MP by the decision of the Constitutional Court, I am still an MP, pending the Court’s verdict. I will continue to work with the people. When they refuse to let me enter Parliament, I will stand with the people as someone who has earned the trust of 6 million and 3 hundred thousand people nationwide.”

After the suspension, #StandwithThanathorn topped twitter trending in Thailand.

Continue reading Prachatai English: Court suspends Thanathorn’s MP Status, impartiality questioned

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