Future Forward objects to charter court’s date for verdict in loan controversy
The opposition Future Forward party declared today its strong objection to the Constitutional Court’s schedule for delivering its ruling in the 191.2 million baht loan case.
Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, flanked by several party MPs, told a news conference in parliament today that they objected, from the start, to the charter court’s decision to accept the loan case, as submitted by the Election Commission (EC).
He said that the EC’s handling of the case did not follow the legal requirements, because its two investigative subcommittees had already cleared the Future Forward party of any wrongdoing in accepting the loan from its leader.
He added that the charter court had rejected the party’s petition for an inquiry or to allow the party to present 17 witnesses, some of them EC officials, to testify. In a similar loan case involving the Democrat party, the court allowed an inquiry, he said.
Piyabutr pointed out that the court’s timing is suspect, because it has scheduled the announcement of the verdict on February 21st, just three days before the tentative date for the start of the censure debate against the Government.
If the party is dissolved by the Constitutional Court before the start of the censure debate, its MPs will be unable to take part, as they scramble to join a new party within 30 days, otherwise they lose their parliamentary status.
“We have confidence in the justice system. We believe the Constitutional Court will consider this case in a fair and just manner,” said the party secretary-general.
He made clear that the party’s executive committee members, who are also MPs, will not quit ahead of the charter court’s ruling on the party’s fate to avoid losing their memberships and incurring a ban from politics if the court forces the dissolution of the party.