Defiant Thanathorn rejects court order, vows to pursue prime minister’s post
A defiant Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit announced Thursday night that he disagreed with the Constitutional Court’s order to suspend his parliamentary membership and vowed to press ahead with his pursuit of the prime minister’s position in the new parliament.
Speaking at a media conference, held at the party’s head office a few hours after the Constitution Court accepted for consideration his media share ownership case from the Election Commission and ordered his parliamentary membership to be suspended temporarily, the firebrand Future Forward party leader questioned whether the court and the EC had been fair to him, citing the secretive manner in which his case had been handled.
As far as the EC is concerned, Thanathorn claimed that the Commission had wrapped up his case and sent to the Constitutional Court before the investigating panel had finished its probe and it was still due to question more witnesses, scheduled for May 24th.
He said that this was not the first time that the EC had acted suspiciously in rushing the media share ownership case, citing the EC’s notice, which arrived at his mother’s home on April 22nd asking her to testify on the same day.
He compared his situation to that of Foreign Minister Don Pramudvinai’s share ownership case, noting that the latter’s case took 417 days from the start of the process until the charter court accepted the case for consideration, while his case took just 53 days.
“Does anyone think I have been treated fairly? Do you think the independent organizations that wield legislative power in Thailand are fair?” asked Thanathorn as he urged all parties concerned to check the decisions of the EC and the charter court.
Thanathorn announced that he and his party would press ahead with their election promise to stop the junta from continuing in power and he will strive for the premiership, against General Prayut Chan-o-cha, and is ready to take the helm.
“The people may lose hope after having heard the Constitutional Court’s decision this afternoon. I would like to inform those who love democracy that this is not a time for despair, but a time to expose the evils of dictatorship. What happened is an injustice,” said the defiant Future Forward party leader.