11 July 2024

Staunch royalists Sonthiya Sawasdee and a lawyer, Thirayut Suwankhesorn, separately lodged petitions with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) today, seeking investigations into the ethical conduct of 44 Move Forward MPs who signed up in support of a bill to amend Thailand’s controversial lèse majesté law.

Thirayut petitioned the Constitutional Court to stop the Move Forward party from pushing for an amendment of the law, claiming that such activities constitute an attempt to overthrow the country’s constitutional monarchy. The court found the party and its former leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, were attempting to undermine the monarchy and ordered them to cease such activities.

Thirayut said today that he believes that the Move forward MPs committed a gross ethical violation by seeking to amend the lèse majesté law and would like the NACC to order a probe.

He said he does not intend to use the NACC to seek the dissolution of the Move Forward party, noting that this responsibility rests with the Election Commission, adding that is not seeking political bans for the 44 MPs either.

Sonthiya, meanwhile, said that he does intend to seek a political ban for life for them.

Move Forward deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakul said she is one of the 44 signatories, but is not concerned about the prospect of a political ban, pointing out that signing the amendment bill does not constitute an organised move, but an exercise of the legitimate right of an MP to amend a law.

Nevertheless, she said that she will fight the case in court, adding that the party has a “Plan B”, should the 44 MPs be banned from politics.