A political activist and member of the opposition Move Forward party has been found hanged near a police kiosk in the Chaloem Phra Kiat district of Thailand’s north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, after going missing on Monday.
Mr. Chaithawat Tulathong, general secretary of the Move Forward party, declined to comment Wednesday on the death of Anan “Boy” Lokate, a member of the party’s financial staff.
Mr. Lokate was in Nakhon Ratchasima on April 17th and 18th for a north-eastern candidate seminar at a hotel in the city center.
At approximately noon on Monday, the 27-year-old was last seen walking alone along Chan Road in the Chaloem Phra district.
Mr. Chaithawat said he would wait for the postmortem report before making any official statement.
Members of the Move Forward party in Nakhon Ratchasima have asked stores on Chan Road to check their CCTV systems in an attempt to obtain information about Anan’s disappearance and death at a location some 20km from where he was last seen.
In claiming her son’s body at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, Anan’s mother said that she does not believe he killed himself.
Move Forward Party opposes military
The Move Forward party’s MP Rangsiman Rome noted in a Facebook post today that he did not expect Anan to be dead. He added that no one knew why he went missing last Monday.
He recalled that he worked with Anan when they and others were involved in a campaign in 2016 to reject the current Constitution.
While protesting against charter schools, Rome and Anan were detained by the police for two weeks in Samut Prakan. The case was pending in court for four years before the defendants were finally acquitted.
Thailand’s Move Forward Party is a progressive party that opposes the remaining influence of the previous military junta, which ruled the country from 2014 to 2019.
In 2014, the party was founded as the Ruam Pattana Chart Thai Party, which later changed its name to the Phung Luang Party but reverted to its original name after the 2019 Thai general election.
The party acquired its current name in 2020 after becoming the de facto successor to the dissolved Future Forward Party.