Fri, August 19, 2022

in-focus

Progressive Movement ready to fight EC right to the end, says Piyabutr


The Progressive Movement announced on Wednesday that it is ready to fight the charges the Election Commission (EC) has filed against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, former leader of the now-defunct Future Forward Party (FWP), and 15 party executives.

The EC filed criminal charges against Thanathorn on Monday for loaning his party Bt191 million between January and April last year, and against 15 party executives for taking this loan. 
The EC also accused Thanathorn and the executives of violating Article 66 of the Political Party Act, which prohibits an individual from donating more than Bt10 million per year to a political party. 
Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Progressive Movement and former FWP secretary-general, said his organisation is ready for the legal battle and has confidence in Thailand’s justice system. 
“This legal war will be fought right to the end. You, the creator of this situation, may think that the story you have written will end early like before, but you are wrong, your action will have a wide-ranging consequence,” he said. 
He also said that the EC was not operating normally and the agency’s actions were not within the law. For instance, he said, he and other executives learned of the criminal charges from the newspaper, not from the EC. 
In December 2019, the EC called on the Constitutional Court to dissolve Future Forward Party, and the court subsequently ordered its dissolution on February 21 and also banned its leader and 15 party executives from politics for 10 years.
The party was dissolved over charges of violating Article 72 of the Political Party Act, which prohibits political parties from receiving donations of money or assets from any sources known to be unlawful or if there is reasonable doubt they are unlawful. It also prohibits the receipt of donations more than Bt10 million per year from a single individual. 
Article 92(3) of the same act allows the Constitutional Court to consider dissolving any political party found to have violated Article 72. 
After his party was dissolved, Thanathorn started the new “Progressive Movement”, while other former Future Forward MPs led by Pita Limjaroenrat established the Move Forward Party on March 8, vowing to continue the work of Future Forward.

Published : October 28, 2020

By : THE NATION