Supporters rally against Move Forward’s slow response to damages
A group of nine people who claimed to be ardent supporters of the Move Forward Party were seen rallying outside the party’s headquarters on Monday. Their demand was that the party take immediate steps to rebuild its reputation.
The group, claiming to be members of Move Forward by “social contract”, also threatened to withdraw their support if the party failed to salvage its image.
The protesters were led by Sa-ard Kong-im, who said he had been a member of the party since its inception as Future Forward.
He said that though he had not formally registered as a party member, he had applied as a supporter on a social network and has since been actively campaigning for it on social media.
To symbolise the protest, Sa-ard handed some rotten oranges to representatives of Move Forward who came out to see the protesters. Since Move Forward’s colour is orange, the fans of the party call themselves “orange supporters”.
Sa-ard said the party had to work fast to save its reputation after it was hit by a series of sexual harassment scandals involving its MPs and former MPs. The party recently expelled two MPs after its ethics panel found grounds to believe the sexual harassment charges levelled against them.
Then one of the two MPs accused a party executive of demanding bribes from landfill operators in Prachinburi. The party promised to look into these allegations.
In the latest controversy, Move Forward was accused of campaigning against students from four top secondary schools being used to do “billboard card stunts” at sporting events.
The campaign said it is not right to get students to brace the scorching sun and rain just to hold up cards to form words or pictures in the stands.
Several alumni of the four schools came out to accuse the party of being behind the campaign, saying the students went up on the stands voluntarily.
Sa-ard said he and his group still loved the party and wanted it to maintain its popularity. Move Forward won 14 million votes, the highest, in the May 14 general election.
“We just want the executive board to ensure there is no more negative news against the party,” Sa-ard said. “We want Move Forward to clearly express its stand on various issues.”
He said his group still had faith in the party and would like to see it improve its reputation.
“If you can’t repair the damage caused by a handful of MPs, how will you take care of the people?” he asked.
Sa-ard also clarified that his group had not come out to discredit the party, but was acting out of good faith and love.