11 July 2024

Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has questioned the Constitutional Court’s judgement against him, pointing out that it was based on assumptions rather than on facts.

Unlike the other cases decided by the court, he noted that it did not disclose how the nine court judges voted in his case. It is reported, however, that the court voted 7:2 to find him guilty and to disqualify him as an MP.

Talking to the media after the verdict, Thanathorn said that the court had assumed that V Luck Media, a family-owned company, could reopen any time, despite his claim that the firm had ceased trading, because the company has not formally notified the Commerce Ministry about the company’s closure.

He said that the court should have waited until V Luc Media Company reopened before disqualifying him as an MP, adding that a company has up to a year to notify the Commerce Ministry that it has ceased trading.

The embattled Future Forward party leader also questioned the court’s suspicions as to why his wife, Ms. Rawiwan, took so long to cash a check issued by his mother, Mrs. Somporn, for her purchase of his media shares and why he hadn’t assigned other people to cash the cheque.

Thanathorn said he only his wife is authorized to cash his cheques and he regards this as a family matter, adding that even the Election Commission had not investigated this issue.

He said the court noted of Section 98 (3) of the Constitution, which forbids politicians from holding media shares in a way which will benefit them while placing others at a disadvantage, but didn’t rule whether he violated the provision or not.

“I am still the Future Forward party leader.  Our journey has not ended yet.  We will move forward,” announced Thanathorn as he ended his interview.

The firebrand politician said on twitter that he will still join the party’s campaign to revoke mandatory conscription at Siam Square shopping district this evening. Party spokeswoman Pannika Wanich said Thanathorn is still the party leader and candidate for next Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, it was reported that, after the Constitutional Court’s ruling, the hashtag #ripthailand#StandWithThanathorn# has jumped into the number one trending spot in Thailand trend.

Party list MP Rangsiman Rome said in his Facebook post that he felt saddened and disappointed with the court’s ruling, which he described as unacceptable.  He then repeated Thanathorn’s statement that he was not guilty of illegal media share ownership, but guilty of daring to challenge the “junta”.

Mr. Phumtham Vechchayachai, advisor to the Pheu Thai party leader, said he had sympathy for the Future Forward party adding, however, that the seven-party opposition can still function as normal.