6 June 2024

The US embassy in Bangkok has expressed concern that the Constitutional Court’s decision on Friday, to dissolve the Future Forward party, risks disenfranchising more than six million Thai voters who voted for the party in the March 24th 2019 general election.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the embassy said “The United States strongly supports democratic governance around the world, and appreciates Thailand’s recent seating of a democratically elected government.  While the United States does not favor or support any particular political party in Thailand, more than six million voters chose the Future Party in March 24 elections.  The decision to disband the party risks disenfranchising those voters and raises questions about their representation within Thailand’s electoral system.”

Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) called on Thai authorities to reverse the dissolution decision and to restore genuine rights to freedom of expression and association in Thailand.

AI’s regional director Nicholas Bequelin said, in a statement issued Friday night, that the Charter Court’s dissolution decision illustrated how the Thai authorities use judicial processes to intimidate, harass and target political opposition.

“The dissolution of the Future Forward party is the culmination of the Thai authorities’ relentless onslaught against the party’s leaders and members since the lead-up to the March 2019 general elections.  Both before and since the elections, the authorities have sweeping and vaguely worded legal restrictions to dissolve the party, and had disqualified the party leader from sitting in the parliament.”

“The Thai government, members of parliament, and all political parties in Thailand must commit to protecting the rights of freedom of expression and association.  The international community, which has on the whole remained silent about human rights violations in Thailand, must clearly demonstrate it will not accept the outlawing of political opposition.”