Move Forward doomed, says ex-election commissioner

Move Forward doomed, says ex-election commissioner

Party dissolution and bans on dozens of senior figures could follow if poll body pursues complaint

Move Forward doomed, says ex-election commissioner
Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn says the Constitutional Court could rule before the year ends if the Election Commission goes ahead with a petition to seek the dissolution of the Move Forward Party.

A former election commissioner has predicted multiple adverse impacts on the Move Forward Party, its executives and MPs later this year in the wake of the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the party and its former leader on Wednesday.

Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said there could be petitions for the court to dissolve the party now that it has found that its policy to amend the royal defamation law amounts to an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

The Election Commission could be among the petitioners, said Mr Somchai.

Political activist and petitioner Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, who has targeted Move Forward before, said he intended to ask the poll body on Thursday to pursue a dissolution case.

Section 92 of the organic law on political parties states that the Constitutional Court can disband any political party that acts against or overthrows the constitutional monarchy.

The EC could submit such a petition with the court within two months and the court could make a ruling in the next four to six months, Mr Somchai said.

If the party is found guilty, all those listed as executives in 2021 could be banned from running in any election for life, he said.

2021 was when 44 MPs of the party proposed a bill to change Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese-majeste law.

Mr Somchai said the same fate could befall party executives in early 2023 when it raised Section 112 reform among its campaign policies for the May 14 election. They could be banned from setting up or taking part in forming a new political party for 10 years, he said.

As well, former MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat and the 43 party MPs who proposed the Section 112 amendment bill in March 2021 could be found guilty of ethical violations under another law. They could then be banned from running in any election or holding any political position for life and from having electoral rights for 10 years.