23 May 2024

Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has offered an apology for invoking the name of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra during his defence in the media ownership case before the Constitutional Court today (Friday), blaming the atmosphere in the courtroom for his “miscommunication”.

In his defence, he reportedly said that he wanted to pursue a political career which is free from conflicts of interest, so he would not face the same fate as Mr. Thaksin, a remark which has drawn considerable criticism from Thaksin’s supporters.

Speaking in her personal capacity, Pheu Thai deputy spokeswoman Sunisa Thivakorndamrong said she did not understand why Thanathorn had to refer to Thaksin and “blemish the latter’s reputation”.

She said Thanathorn should have presented evidence to the court to prove his innocence, but had told the court that he didn’t remember anything, not even simple matters that any person with common sense would recall.

Mr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai lecturer at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies at Tokyo University, and a junta critic, criticized Thanathorn in his Facebook post, saying “What type of person steps on others to make themselves look cleaner?” adding “(He) said he wanted to offer a new style of politics for the new generation, but (he) is using the old dirty politics, stepping on other people to claim legitimacy for himself.”