(CTN News) – The Constitutional Court ordered the advisor to the previous head of the Move Forward Party (MFP), Pita Limjaroenrat, and the party to stop campaigning to modify Section 112 of the Criminal Law, popularly known as lese majeste law. Their attempts were judged a threat to Thailand’s monarchy.
Last year, the Move Forward Party pledged to change the lese majeste law during the General Election last year. The party faced criticism for this proposal, leading to most MPs and senators voting against Pita during Thailand’s new prime minister nomination process.
Thai lawyer Teerayut Suwannakaesorn filed a lawsuit against Pita and Move Forward Party, accusing them of utilising rights and freedom to destroy Thailand’s democratic style of government, which includes the king as head of state under Section 49 of the Constitution.
Thai Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against Pita Limjaroenrat and Move Forward Party
Teerayut asked the Constitution Court to investigate his complaint, and the court did so on July 12, a day before Parliament selected a Prime Minister.
The investigation and questioning proceeded until the court decided this afternoon, January 31. Pita and MFP members did not appear at the court hearing. Only the complainant, Teerayut, appeared in court today.
At around 3 p.m., the court ruled that Pita and MFP’s intentions to change Section 112 of the Criminal Law breached Section 49 of the Constitution, posing a threat to the monarchy. The court ordered Pita and Move Forward Party to avoid any future activity involving the lese majeste legislation.
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party and President of the Progressive Movement, had stated to the media that the Move Forward Party would not be dissolved due to the charges.
“I want society to recognise that laws were created by humans, not gods. If humans created them, they should have the right to change them. This is the essential premise. If MPs and legislative departments can’t amend the laws, something is wrong with the country.”
According to MGR Online, the court’s decision to avoid applying lese majeste law may not end the case.
According to media reports, the Constitutional Court’s ruling might be presented to the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT), which could decide to dissolve the party and prohibit all members of the party’s executive team from running in future elections.
Furthermore, the Constitutional Court’s ruling could be forwarded to the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (ONACC) to charge Pita with violating Thai lawmakers’ ethical standards.