11 July 2024

The opposition Move Forward party announced today that it never had and has no future intention whatsoever to undermine the monarchy and claimed that the Constitutional Court’s ruling today will not only impact the party, but rights, liberties and democracy in Thailand as well.

Party leader Chaithawat Tulathon and former party leader Pita Limjaroenrat jointly made the statement in response to the court’s ruling that the party’s campaign to amend the lèse majesté law (Criminal Code Article 112) constitutes an attempt to topple the Constitutional Monarchy and ordered the party to cease all activities related to the lèse majesté law.

Chaithawat said that the ruling risks altering the relationship between parliament and the Constitutional Court, while causing confusion about what a “democratic system with the King as the head of state” actually means.

He added that the ruling will also deprive Thai society of the opportunity to have the parliamentary system resolve political conflict in the future, especially if it is in any way related to “monarchy”, and may also have negative impacts on the revered institution.

Citing the court’s association of party members’ with anti-monarchy protests, by acting as guarantors for protesters facing lèse majesté charges, as being part of the attempt to undermine the monarchy, Chaithawat said that the ruling goes against the legal principle that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He also questioned the court’s ruling which bars the party or its members from expressing views verbally, in writing, in publications or advertisements on the lèse majesté issue. “Does this mean that, from now on, the party, the media, academics or the public in general cannot express their views on Article 112?” he asked.

Additionally, he asked the court for an explanation of “non-parliamentary means,” in the context of the ruling relating to not amending the lèse majesté law through such means.

He also asked the court whether parties which declare themselves to be pro-monarchy and accuse their opponents of being disloyal to the monarchy should be deemed as attempting to undermine the monarchy, by impacting the institution’s ability to remain politically impartial.