21 May 2024

Future Forward party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has defended himself against allegations that he made comments hostile to the Thai Monarchy.

In his Facebook post today, Piyabutr said that the allegation stemmed from some parts of his lecture on the topic of “Politics, Justice and Monarchy”, which he gave on February 17th 2013 at the October 14th Memorial while he was a lecturer at the Law Faculty of Thammasat University.

He claims that the allegedly hostile comments were doctored and he had not mentioned the Thai Monarchy, but talked about the principle of having a Constitution by explaining that, in accordance with the international democratic system, the Monarchy must be above and should not get involved in politics and that the position of the Monarch, which is inherited, must be in line with the democratic system.

Piyabutr added that his accusers, who allegedly doctored the comments and did not mention when he gave the lecture and put the Future Forward party logo on his picture, intended to engender hatred towards him.

He went on to say that, over the past 14 years, charges of lèse majesté have been abused to cause social disunity and mutual hatred between people, providing excuses for the military to seize power.

“In a democracy, we can prefer different political parties or politicians.  We can compete politically within the rules without using the Monarchy to attack one another or cause hatred,” said the Future Forward party secretary-general.

The accusations against Piyabutr have gone viral since before the general election and have spread with more intensity in the social media over the past one week.