11 July 2024

The opposition Move Forward party plans to challenge the Constitutional Court, on the grounds that it does not have the authority to dissolve the party or to banish its executive committee members from politics for ten years, Pita Limjaroenrat, former party leader and chief advisor of the party said on Sunday.

The court has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday of a complaint, filed by the Election Commission, related to the court’s January 31st ruling that the party had attempted to overthrow the constitutional monarchy through its election campaign pledge to amend the lèse majesté law.

Pita outlined the party’s nine-point defence against the EC’s demand today, which includes a challenge to the jurisdiction and authority of the Constitutional Court and the legitimacy of the EC’s complaint.

He claimed that the court has no jurisdiction in the case and has no authority to dissolve the party or to banish its executive committee members from politics, because the Constitution does not grant it such powers.

The EC’s complaint to the court is also illegitimate because the Move Forward party was not given a chance to defend itself against the charge that it attempted to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, said Pita.

He also claimed that the January ruling by the court is not legally bound to the current case, because they are separate.

Disbanding a political party must be the last resort and such a penalty must only be imposed if it is absolutely necessary and with great caution, said Pita, adding that such a penalty does not serve to protect democracy.

Political parties, said the Move Forward advisory chief, are an important element of democracy.