11 July 2024

The Office of the Election Commission (EC) has dismissed a claim, by the Future Forward spokesperson Pannika Wanich based on a leaked document, that the commission had already made a decision to rule against party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit for the 191 million baht loan he extended to the party before the March 24th general election.

In its statement, released today, the EC’s Office said the claim is inaccurate, adding that the investigation followed procedure, starting with the case being probed by an inquiry panel before the panel’s findings are forwarded to the EC for consideration.

The EC’s Office referred to the statements, made to the media by EC president Itthiporn Boonprakong on October 11th and October 23rd, saying that the case is still with the inquiry subcommittee.

The inquiry panel asked for more documents from the Future Forward party related to the loan, but the party asked for 120 days to gather all the related documents.

On November 26th, the EC issued a subpoena for the additional documents to be submitted by December 2nd, but the party ignored the subpoena and the EC interpreted the party’s action as its submission to the EC’s deadline.

The EC is due to decide on the loan controversy tomorrow by considering two key issues.

The first is whether the 191 million baht loan is, in fact, a donation from Thanathorn to the party. Under the law, a donation by an individual must not exceed 10 million baht.

The second issue is whether the loan can be considered income of the party. According to the law, party income must only be used for the party’s activities and cannot be used to repay loans.