Move Forward calls on Piyabutr to help in election push
Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat has invited Progressive Movement secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul to help with preparations for the upcoming general election “to change Thailand”.
Pita was speaking on the third anniversary of the dissolution of Move Forward’s predecessor, Future Forward Party, which former law academic Piyabutr co-founded.
Future Forward was dissolved by a Constitutional Court ruling on February 21, 2020 that it had illegally taken a 191.2 million baht donation from its leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
Critics in Thailand and overseas said the dissolution – which was ordered after the party came third in a stunning debut at the 2019 election – showed the military's continued interference in Thai politics.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Pita said three years had passed since the government's attempt to destroy a small opposition party.
He invited Piyabutr, who was banned from party politics by the dissolution ruling, to help ensure Move Forward followed up on the electoral success of its predecessor.
"The party is working hard to combat the government in the upcoming general election, such as by choosing constituencies we can win and seeking more members," Pita said.
"Piyabutr should help the Move Forward Party, in line with the law, to show people they are wrong to underestimate the party," he added.
Pita was speaking after Piyabutr expressed concern on Monday that the Pheu Thai Party could be heading for a landslide election victory at the expense of Move Forward. Piyabutr urged Move Forward to switch its campaign image from a pro-democracy party opposing dictatorship to a new political force combatting the old politics.
Meanwhile, Thanathorn tweeted that he is ready to support Pita as the next prime minister.
Pita said yesterday that he was honoured to lead Move Forward Party and drive Thailand's politics amid challenges such as Covid-19 and geopolitical impacts on the economy.
"Even though my performance is not perfect, I put all my effort into political work," he said.
He added that party membership had grown larger than Future Forward’s, showing that Thai people continued to back Move Forward in huge numbers.