Move Forward granted final extension to defend dissolution case


Constitutional Court grants final extension to Move Forward Party to defend its dissolution case

The Constitutional Court has granted a 15-day extension to the May 18 deadline that Move Forward Party must submit a written defence in its party-dissolution case, a news source said on Wednesday, citing the court’s reason as ‘for the benefit of justice.’

This extension will be the last one that the main opposition party will receive, said the source, adding that Move Forward must submit its defence to the court on June 2.

On April 3, the Constitutional Court resolved to proceed with a judicial review of a case filed by the Election Commission, which accused Move Forward of violating the Political Parties Act and trying to overthrow the monarchy through its campaign to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law.

The offence carries the maximum punishment of dissolution of the party and a ban on its executives from politics for up to 10 years.

The court had initially given the party 15 days, until April 18, to submit its defence but Move Forward asked for a 30-day extension. The court, however, gave the party only an extra 15 days until May 3, and then another 15 days to May 18, after the party’s appeal.

On May 2, Move Forward leader Chaithawat Tulathon said the court should grant the party a 30-day extension twice, the same treatment it had received during a case regarding the party’s former leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, who had been accused of violating election laws by holding shares in iTV, a media company.

Chaithawat pointed out that the party-dissolution case is much more complicated than the iTV case and therefore requires more time for the party to prepare its defence.