Experts assess fallout from Move Forward Party ruling

Experts assess fallout from Move Forward Party ruling

Experts assess fallout from Move Forward Party ruling
Move Forward Party leader Chaithawat Tulathon, centre right, and his predecessor Pita Limjaroenrat, centre left, hold a press conference at parliament after the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Wednesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The Constitutional Court ruling shouldn’t affect government stability or the tourism industry, according to Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) president Chamnan Srisawat.

“Despite the political situation in Thailand, international tourism demand will not fall off unless there is severe violence,” said Mr Chamnan.

He said the government led by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had shown good initiatives in driving the economy via tourism, with significant policies like visa-free travel for high-potential markets.

However, even with a stable government, it will still be challenging to attract 35 million foreign tourists and achieve 1.9 trillion baht in revenue this year, he said.

However, Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said it is too soon to predict the impact or the consequences of the court ruling.

If there are legal efforts to seek the dissolution of the Move Forward Party (MFP) and political bans for its leaders over its stance on the monarchy, it could lead to demonstrations and political unrest.

This could have repercussions for tourism, exports, the country’s credibility, as well as stock and capital markets. The extent of these consequences depends on how well the government can control and manage the situation, he said.

Jitipol Puksamatanan, head of macro and wealth research at CGS-CIMB Securities (Thailand), said if the court ruling on Wednesday eventually leads to the dissolution of the MFP, the resulting negative sentiment could hurt the Thai stock market.

“It shows Thailand’s politics remain unstable,” he said.”We still have a political structural problem that must be resolved. Even if the MFP wins the next election, there may be problems arising from today’s ruling.”

However, stock market investors primarily consider the financial results of listed firms as well as current global factors rather than domestic political issues.

Also, if the government has a policy to support economic growth, it could boost market sentiment and drive the Thai index, he added.