Thai court to rule March 7 on possible dissolution of party

BANGKOK — Thailand’s constitutional Court announced Wednesday it will issue a ruling on whether to dissolve a political party opposed to the country’s military government on March 7, less than three weeks before long-delayed elections.

The Thai Raksa Chart Party has been threatened with dissolution for having nominated King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s sister as its candidate for prime minister, an unprecedented move that the monarch declared was inappropriate and unconstitutional. The board overseeing the March 24 general election voided the nomination.

Thai Raksa Chart had quickly accepted the king’s order and said it would argue to the court that the nomination was made with good intentions.

Separately, the attorney general’s office said it will decide after the polls whether to prosecute Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the youthful founder of the Future Forward Party, on charges filed against him by the ruling junta for online remarks saying that it had unfairly lured other political parties to be allies of the military. He is accused of violating the Computer Crime Act by allegedly putting false information online, and could be punished with a five-year prison term.

The state prosecutor’s office did not ask for Thanathorn to be detained Wednesday, noting that he had turned himself in and had shown no signs of seeking to evade prosecution.

After the prosecutor’s announcement, Thanathorn tweeted: “Thank you for everyone’s support. From today on, I and the Future Forward Party will continue with our work in full force. However, I believe what happened is not the last effort to stop us. May all you #Futurista help be the eyes and ears to make sure that this election will be free and fair.”

Thanathorn could also face a threat from a complaint that his party’s website posted a false detail about his career, an infraction punishable by a fine, imprisonment and a ban from politics for up to 20 years. The incorrect entry described him as the head of a national industrial organization rather than of one of its regional branches, and his party said it was the result of a clerical error.




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