11 July 2024

Another day, another hearing at the Constitutional Court for Thailand’s Move Forward Party. Last week, former party leader Pita Limjaroenrat faced the court alone. He was accused of owning shares in a media company (iTV), an illegal act for members of parliament in Thailand.

The conservative-majority court cleared Pita, ruling that iTV had sat defunct since 2007 – an unexpected win for the progressive party and its supporters.

But it wasn’t over yet. The Move Forward party was back in the hot seat this week, accused of overthrowing the constitutional monarchy, for its pledge to amend the lèse-majesté law during their election campaign last year. The case rested on ambiguous legislation, and was presented by a pro-establishment lawyer.

In what may be the beginning of the end for the party, Move Forward was found guilty.

Thai PBS World was in Parliament and captured the build up and reaction to the Constitutional Court’s decision.

The view from Parliament – a calm before the storm. // Photo by Anisha Satya

News crews huddled around the entrance. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Andre Malebra, shooting for Bloomberg – one of the many international news agencies who followed this case. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Move Forward Party MPs as they entered the press conference room. // Photos by Anisha Satya

Former Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat (RIGHT), walked in alongside current party leader, Chaithawat Tulathon. // Photo by Anisha Satya

 

Pita, as he was swarmed by news media // Photo by Anisha Satya

Amidst the chaos, party members got seated and comfortable for the hour-long verdict reading. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Reporters tuned into the live broadcast of the Constitutional Court’s ruling. The room fell silent. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Supporters of the Move Forward party watched the broadcast in Parliament’s cafeteria. // Photo by Anisha Satya

“Uncle Chamnan” is a self-proclaimed Pita superfan, and has the signed hat to prove it. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Reporters queued for the meeting room upon hearing the trial verdict – Move Forward was found guilty. // Photo by Anisha Satya

Livestreams and translations were aplenty during the party’s press conference // Photo by Anisha Satya

Pita gritted his teeth as he and Chaithawat told supporters “we tried our best”, following the verdict. // Photo by Anisha Satya

A final media convoy saw Move Forward out of parliament. // Photo by Anisha Satya

 

Story and photos by Anisha Satya