The Move Forward Party ( MFP)’s attempt to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law, was unanimously rejected by the Constitutional Court, which set the boundaries for any attempts to change the law.
The court ordered the MFP to stop efforts to change the law even though it determined that the main opposition group’s support for the article is an attempt to overthrow the democratic king. However, it did not punish the group and its managers.
Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a political activist, has asked the Election Commission (EC ) to rethink his petition calling for the MFP’s dissolution in connection with its Section 112 policy after the EC previously dismissed it as unfounded and without justification.
Given that amending the Lese Majeste law is one of the MFP’s flagship policies, The Bangkok Post spoke with social analysts and influential party figures to learn how the ruling might impact the party stance and objectives.
At a fork
Two innovations should be carefully monitored, according to Assoc Prof. Yutthaporn Issarachai, a professor in political science at Sukhothiat Thammathirat Open University.
First and foremost, the MFP is debating whether to move forward or take a softer approach in light of the court’s decision. The comments made by MFP head Chaithawat Tulathon, he claimed, would not clarify the party’s course of action.
The court ordered the group and Pita Limjaroenrat, its former leader, to stop speaking, writing, publishing, marketing, or spreading messages in an effort to amend Section 112. They were forbidden from changing the area through a non-legislative procedure.
While the group accepted the ruling, Mr. Chaithawat stated last Wednesday that society would miss the chance to use the political system to resolve conflicts.
It’s unclear what the MFP leader said in response to the decision. However, it is believed that the group is prepared to handle any circumstance. Thus, the researcher said,” We’ll wait and see how it decides.”
According to Assoc Prof Yutthaporn, the decision also opens the door for efforts to get the breakdown of the celebration and social bans for its executives. It is debatable, though, whether the decision has retrospective ramifications for the party’s prior deeds.
” If it could pave the way for serious effects, there is still room for interpretation.” It might merely serve as a deterrent to the gathering. It was vague prior to the decision whether the plan constituted a breach of the charter, he said.
The researcher responded that the situation presents an opportunity and places restrictions on the party when asked if the court decision will have an impact on how the MFP’s goals will be achieved.
According to Assoc Prof Yutthaporn, the MFP can use the judge’s decision to abandon the policy and concentrate on other issues that supporters are prepared to comprehend.
Adopting a softer position, however, could slow down the speed of the MFP’s movement, he said, given that its development was mostly attributable to its campaign to change the law. Some original group members have already expressed disapproval of the party’s muted strategy.
According to Assoc Prof. Yutthaporn, if the party pursues the problem and is disbanded as a result, it must be certain that outdoor lobbying will be sufficient to advance its agenda.
The best course of action, in my opinion, is to continue with the official legislative process, or else it will become like the Progressive Movement, which has a finite capacity. Shifts may come about as a result of participating in the legislative approach, he said.
The Future Forward Party, the MFP’s president, was dissolved, and the Progressive Movement was established as a result.
It is obvious that Part 112 cannot remain repealed, according to the decision. An article must go through the legislative approach and be reviewed in court. It’s extremely challenging to work on this topic outside of parliament, according to Assoc Prof. Yutthaporn.
Yutthaporn: The court’s decision might only serve as a caution.
concentrating on the Senate vote
The MFP is unlikely to become overly concerned about the possibility of being dissolved or its managers being hit with a social restrictions, according to Thanaporn Sriyakul, chairman of the Political and Public Policy Analysis Institute.
Its backers think that making such a maneuver may simply strengthen the group and contribute to popular help, which they refer to as “orange across the property.”
He added that the decision is also expected to alter the social landscape, explaining that prior to the decision, the Pheu Thai Party was regarded as capable of serving two terms before the MFP assumes power.
According to the researcher, if the group is ultimately disbanded, the MFP is likely to form the government following the next general election, though under a new title.
People associated with the MFP may also be elected in the future republic election, which is scheduled for the middle of this year. Without Senate control, group supporters think it would be difficult to turn separate organizations into an “orange” ally.
They are aware that judges on the Constitutional Court are chosen by the Senate,” no matter what name they choose]for the resurrection of the MFP.” To help attempts to change the principles when conditions change, it is essential for them to forge an alliance in the Senate. This is n’t a long-term problem for the new party, he claimed.
The MFP may concentrate on its oppositional position, according to Mr. Thanaporn, and abandon its intention to amend Part 112 due to the court’s limitations. Other parties are unlikely to participate in a controversy, he said, even though the decision does not forbid discussions.
Big protests, he continued, are unlikely this year because the party will concentrate on the upcoming local and midterm Senate elections. Little protests may be sparked by a group breakdown decision, but large-scale presentations are unlikely, he said.
Thanaporn: Ban may aid in gaining popular support
Getting ready for what comes
According to MFP list-MP Rangsiman Rome, the party will probably concentrate on its function in parliament, which includes pushing for the passage of an amnesty bill that also applies to der majeste law offenders, given the court’s decision.
The People’s Alliance for Democracy ( PAD ) held its first protest against the Thaksin administration on February 11, 2006, and all politically motivated cases since that date until the day the proposed amnesty takes effect would be covered by the MFP.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, the Women’s Democratic Reform Committee, and others are likely to gain from the group. Critics, yet, believe that it is an effort to pardon all of the most serious lawbreakers.
According to Mr. Rangsiman, the der qualifications law has been applied by authorities to people with opposing political ideologies, and the proposed amnesty may help to settle the political squabble.
He stated that the party does face all potential benefits in the event that it is disbanded.
The MFP, he claimed, is a “way of thinking” that its people and followers may unite to show that it stands for the future rather than just being an organization for politics.
Breakdown or lawful war efforts against the group will fail if the backers are unwavering, much like what happened with the Future Forward Party.
Rangsiman: Democratic critics are subject to the law.
MP Nutthawut Buaprathum, who is on the MFP list, expressed confidence that the group’s adherents would stick by the decision and help it in carrying out its political responsibilities.
There are other urgent issues to prioritize and target, he said, but the court decision does not preclude any attempts to alter the der majeste law and the contract through the legislative process.
He asserted that the party is ready to defend itself in the face of a breakdown petition and has no malice in proposing amendments to the Lese Majesty Law.
When questioned about the possibility of being dissolved, Mr. Nutthawut responded that the group is not unduly concerned the decision will result in its dissolution. Before deciding on its future course of action, the group will study the entire ruling, he said.
Nutthawut: No malice in the proposed article