11 July 2024

The Election Commission today decided to file criminal charges against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the now-defunct Future Forward Party in connection with the 191-million- baht loan case that has doomed the political party.

Thanathorn is accused of violating the political parties law which limits an individual’s contribution to a political party to 10 million baht. If found guilty he faces a possible maximum jail term of five years and a fine of 100,000 baht, as well as a five-year political ban.

Fifteen former executives of the dissolved party are also facing separate criminal charges which carry a maximum penalty of three-year imprisonment and a fine of one million baht.

The Constitutional Court in February this year ordered Future Forward Party dissolved after finding its guilty of receiving a loan of 191 million baht from Thanathorn prior to and after the general elections in March, 2019. It also banned Thanathorn and the members of its executive committee from active politics from 10 years.

The decision to file charges against Thanathorn and the former Future Forward executives was reached during a meeting of the Election Commission today. The charges will be filed with police.

Thanathorn has vehemently denied the charges against him, dismissing them as part of what he described as political persecution orchestrated by those in power.

The Election Commission’s latest decision is most likely to further fuel discontentment among supporters of the defunct party who have formed parts of the ongoing anti-government protests.