Senator warns of libel suit as angry netizens call for boycott of their businesses

FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2023

The hashtag #ธุรกิจสว, meaning #BusinessesofThaiSenators has been trending on Twitter as netizens expressed their anger against the 250 junta-appointed senators.

In Thursday’s election for prime minister, 13 senators voted for the lone candidate, Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party, 39 voted against him, 159 abstained, while one senator had resigned just a day before the voting for PM.

Pita received 323 votes, most of them from his eight-party coalition, falling short of the 376 he required. The second round of voting for PM is scheduled for July 19.

Thai netizens were enraged and chose to vent their frustration on social media. A proliferation of hashtags regarding this case has been trending on Twitter. Since the end of the first round of voting on Thursday, hashtags such as #VoteForPrimeMinister and #ChoosePrimeMinisterBasedOnElectionResults have been trending.

The hashtag #ธุรกิจสว (#BusinessesofThaiSenators) emerged after a campaign appealed to people not to support businesses affiliated with the senators, including those owned by their family members. Some businesses affected by the boycott include markets, restaurants, renowned companies, gas stations and even football teams.

Meanwhile, Somchai Sawaengkarn, one of the 250 junta-appointed senators, said several members were gathering evidence to file a defamation lawsuit against netizens for the boycott. Somchai warned individuals engaging in such behaviour not to take it lightly, as senators have gathered evidence. All past incidents would be investigated and, if found to fall within the scope of defamation, legal action would be taken in all cases, he said.