Thanathorn’s legal trouble is a mirror image of Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai’s share-holding case. But the rulings for each are completely opposite. Don was allowed to keep working in his post, while Thanathorn has been suspended after the court cited the risk of disarray in Parliament if he were allowed to take his seat.
It is public knowledge that the Future Forward Party has been subjected to junta-backed government intimidation and harassment ever since the election. Some TV news channels have even gone as far as reporting on Future Forward in a systematically biased way. It should also be noted that the entire Election Commission and certain Constitutional Court members were appointed by the military junta. It would appear that these judicial bodies base their judgements on rule by law instead of the rule of law. Their deliberations in politically sensitive cases appear based on technical interpretations of the written law instead of the merit of the law itself.
However, people with ideology can be stopped, but the ideology itself can never be eradicated. The early days of this Parliament will again reveal which parties genuinely represent the people and which parties are merely representing their own self-interest. The voters must not be fooled; they should not vote for parties that go back on their campaign promises. Yesterday’s rerun of the vote in Chiang Mai will again indicate whether the people are in favour of democracy. Meanwhile, outside Parliament Thanathorn will continue to push for democratic principles in Thailand.