11 July 2024

The Constitutional Court held a hearing to consider a petition filed against the Move Forward party and its former leader, Pita Limjaroenrat on Monday, claiming that their election pledge to amend Section 112 of the Criminal code, or the lèse majesté law, is tantamount to an attempt to overthrow the country’s constitutional monarchy.

The petitioner, Thirayuth Suwankaesoorn, told the media that the court did not summon him, Pita or the incumbent Move Forward party leader Chaithawat Tulathon to testify.

He said he has learned that the court called two defence witnesses, listed by the Move Forward party, adding that he is confident that his allegation against the party is valid.

Thirayuth disclosed that, in the past two weeks, he has been allowed to review information submitted to the court by relevant agencies concerning the case and found that itsupports his case against the Move Forward party.

He maintains that his objective is to stop the Move Forward party from trying to amend the lèse majesté law, which may destabilise the Monarchy, adding that, if the court rules that his petition is justified and orders the party to stop its attemptsto amend the law, it will be the responsibility of the Election Commission to dissolve the party.

Pita, meanwhile, told media at the court that he is ready to explain that his party’s bid to amend the controversial law is not an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy as charged and is in line with the Constitution. He also said that he has faith that the party will receive justice from the court.

He also said that he believes the party will not be dissolved,even if the court rules against its policy.

The hearing today is expected to conclude at about noon, after which the court will set the date for the court to consider their ruling, expected at the end of January or early February.

The Constitutional Court is also due to issue its ruling in Pita’s iTV media share ownership case on January 24th. Pita is accused of owning 42,000 iTV shares at the time he registeredhis candidacy for the May 14th election. If he is found guilty, he could face a jail term up to 10 years and/or a fine of between 20,000 and 200,000 baht and the election of all the Move Forward MPs could be invalidated.