Thursday, December 12, 2019

Future Forward facing wave of lawsuits

Nov 17. 2019
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit
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By The Nation

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As ruling by the Constitutional Court is looming, Krungthepturakij political reporters are gathering information of multiple charges against key leaders of key  Future Forward Party.

Future Forward Party members are mustering evidence to defend it against multiple legal actions in the Constitutional Court that threaten its existence.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the party’s secretary-general, has said more than 20 complaints had been brought against the party that could lead to its dissolution.

Anti-corruption activist Srisuwan Chanya petitioned the Election Commission to investigate party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s shares in V-Luck Media, possession of which is constitutionally prohibited for elected members of the House of Representatives.

The commission forwarded the request to the Constitutional Court, which will render a decision on Wednesday (November 20).

Thanathorn claims he yielded the shares prior to the March election and insists having the shares would have given him no advantage in the polls at any rate.

If the court rules against him, he would immediately be removed from office.

The commission could also take further action against Thanathorn if it’s proven he was legally disqualified to run for office and yet did so anyway.

Srisuwan also petitioned the Supreme Court to revoke Thanathorn’s right to register for the election because of the shares and asked the Election Commission to suspend its announcement of winning party candidates.

Srisuwan has prodded the commission about Thanathorn loaning party members a combined Bt191 million and with his wife donating Bt17.2 million to the party itself.

Srisuwan has complained that Pannika Wanich, the party’s spokeswoman, donated Bt1 million to the party after submitting documents to the National Anti-Corruption Commission showing just Bt91,066 in her bank account against total assets of Bt3.3 million.

Another activist, Boonthaworn Panyasit, petitioned the commission on March 8 to dissolve Future Foward, accusing Thanathorn and Piyabutr of “antagonising the constitutional monarchy”.

Songklod Chuenchuaphon asked the commission to dissolve the party on March 29, charging that Thanathorn had criticised the Constitutional Court.

Surawat Sangkhareuk, chairman of a citizens’ political group, sought the party’s dissolution, citing behaviour seen as “an attempt to overthrow the monarchy”.

Sonthiya Sawasdee, a former representative of the Action Coalition for Thailand Party, on April 11 also asked the commission to postpone its announcement of the party’s winning candidates, citing Thanathorn’s invitation to a dozen foreign embassies to have delegates monitor the election outcome.

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