Thailand regime official Wissanu keeps mum on incomplete oath

Wissanu Krea-ngam, the deputy prime minister for legal affairs who always have answers to all legal challenges against the Prayut-led government, has uncharacteristically kept mum about the accusation cabinet ministers took an incomplete oath when they were sworn in on July 16.

Future Forward party-list MP and secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul brought up the issue in Parliament during the policy statement debate of the joint meeting of the House and the Senate on July 25.

The former law lecturer questioned the legitimacy of the prime minister and cabinet ministers after they failed to take the oath in full.


Continue reading Bangkok Post: Wissanu keeps mum on incomplete oath

Thailand’s constitutional court accepts complaints against PM Prayuth, opposition leaders

Thailand’s Constitutional Court accepted complaints against the prime minister and two opposition party leaders Friday in cases that could disqualify them from office.

The court said it has accepted a complaint against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha sent by 110 members of Parliament who seek his disqualification because he held another government position as junta leader.

The court also said in the statement that it accepted complaints against two leaders of the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkannokul, who are accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

The court allowed the defendants 15 days to submit their arguments but did not indicate when it would rule.

The courts in Thailand have regularly ruled in favor of the conservative establishment that includes the military.


Continue reading Associated Press

Thailand’s Pro-Democracy Opposition Parties Aim to Amend Pro-Military Constitution

Having trounced the military’s proxy at the polls in March, Thailand’s pro-democracy parties may very well have formed the country’s next government by now were it not for the new Constitution the military drafted after seizing power in 2014.

Instead, coup-leader Prayuth Chan-ocha secured a second term as prime minister thanks to a Senate wholly appointed by the junta and empowered for the first time by the new charter to join the popularly elected lower house in voting for the premier.

Now relegated to the opposition, those anti-junta parties have made amending the Constitution their top priority.

“We are talking about restoration of democracy here. Without amending the Constitution, there will be no full restoration to democracy in this country,” said Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward party.


Continue reading VOA: Thailand’s Opposition Parties Aim to Amend Pro-Military Constitution

Thai court accepts petition against 32 MPs, no status suspension

The Constitutional Court has accepted a petition by the Future Forward Party against 32 MPs out of 41 for holding shares in media companies, but they are not suspended as MPs.

The Constitutional Court says 32 MPs accused of holding shares in media companies must respond within 15 days. 20 are from the Phalang Pracharat Party, 9 from the Democrat Party, and 1 each from the Action Coalition for Thailand, Chart Pattana, and Prachaphiwat parties. The other 9 MPs, 6 from Phalang Pracharat and 3 from the Democrats, have been dismissed from the case.

The petition was filed by the Future Forward Party as retaliation after Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the party’s leader, was accused of holding shares in V-Luck Media Co. – an act which, under Section 98 of the 2017 Constitution, prohibits him from running for election as an MP and could result in the termination of his MP status, according to Section 101. His MP status was also suspended by the Court as requested by the Election Commission.

Continue reading Prachatai English: Court accepts petition against 32 MPs, no status suspension

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

Is Thailand’s election democratic?

The last time Thailand tried to hold an election in 2014, it ended with a military coup. An army general took over as Prime Minister and promised to hold a new election.

It’s taken five years for people to be given the chance to vote. 92-thousand polling stations opened across Thailand on Sunday.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha wants to remain in office.

He faces a strong challenge from Pheu Thai, the most prominent anti-junta party linked to former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Six million young people are casting their ballot for the first time. And since the coup, numerous new parties have sprung up to court their votes.

But how democratic is the election?

What will the forces behind the election commission do now?


Pro-junta activist wants Thanathorn probe over ‘false’ biography

Srisuwan Janya, secretary of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, said on Sunday he will submit a petition to the Election Commission, calling for the agency to investigate whether Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkij has violated the election law after inaccurate information in his biography was published on the party’s website.

Mr Srisuwan said the petition will be submitted to the EC on Monday at 10am.

He said that according to information published on the Future Forward website, Mr Thanathorn was president of the Federation of Thai Industry between 2008-2012. The information was incorrect because in fact the Future Forward leader was president of the Nakhon Nayok chapter of the federation during the time.

The inaccurate information appeared on the party’s website for over five months and also appeared on the crowd-sourced Wikipedia website. Although the false information was later removed, he argued, it had already been widespread in the public domain.

Since the information was visible to the public while the royal decree on the election was in effect, Mr Srisuwan said the false information could be construed as intended to entice votes for the party’s candidates in violation of Section 73 (5) of the Election Act of 2018.

If found guilty of violating the law, Mr Thanathorn could be liable to a jail term of 1-10 years. a fine of 20,000-200,000 baht, or both. He could also be banned from elections for 20 years, Mr Srisuwan said.

Since legal experts have debated whether Mr Thanathorn broke the law intentionally, it would be best for the EC to gather evidence and ask a court to make a ruling on the case to set a legal precedent, he added.

Mr Thanathorn has said the statement in his biography on the website that he was the national chairman of the Federation of Thai Industry, rather than just the Nakhon Nayok chapter, was an unintentional editing error.

Mr Srisuwan said he will also submit another petition for the EC to investigate whether Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Future Forward Party, had violated Section 73 (5) of the Election Act for saying on his Facebook page that “state officials have collaborated with some groups of news media to produce material that portrayed northeastern people as being buffoons and uneduated.”

The post may be construed as using false information to insult people, he said.

Source Bangkok Post: Activist wants Thanathorn probe over ‘false’ biography