MFP Faces Potential Dissolution Over Its Stance on Lese-Majeste

The Move Forward Party (MFP) could be on the brink of disbandment as key activists have called on the Election Commission (EC) to start proceedings for its dissolution, arguing that the party’s stance on the lese majeste law is controversial.

Activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana submitted a request to the EC last Thursday, seeking the dissolution of the opposition party.

This request followed the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Wednesday, which interpreted the MFP’s ongoing attempts to reform Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law, as an act against the foundational structure of the constitutional monarchy.

Mr. Ruangkrai grounded his request in Section 92 of the organic law governing political parties.

According to this section, the EC is mandated to approach the Constitutional Court for the dissolution of any political party it finds trying to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, also imposing a decade-long election ban on its executives.

Mr. Ruangkrai emphasized, “The court’s ruling is legally binding on all agencies. The EC must carry out its duty”.

The ruling from Wednesday supported the accusations that the MFP sought to dismantle the constitutional monarchy by proposing changes to the lese majeste law.

Additionally, Ruangkrai has appealed to the EC to consider barring MFP executives from election participation due to the accused misconduct, planning to extend his grievances to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

He mentioned he is in the process of collecting evidence and contemplating whether to also lodge a complaint against the ruling Pheu Thai Party.

Mr. Ruangkrai highlighted that during last year’s election campaign, Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party and Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin discussed amending Section 112.

Another petition was submitted to the EC yesterday by attorney Theerayut Suwankesorn, who had previously requested the Constitutional Court to stop the MFP’s efforts to reform Section 112.

Mr. Theerayut stated that the EC is now obligated to act following Wednesday’s ruling.

He also plans to request the NACC today to examine allegations of grave ethical misconduct by former MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat and 43 other MPs from the party who proposed the amendment bill.

MPs are expected to uphold ethical standards that protect the monarchy, and failure to adhere to these standards can lead to a ten-year ban from electoral participation.

Sonthiya Sawasdee, a former adviser to the House legal affairs committee, intends to petition the NACC to investigate the ethical behavior of the 44 MFP lawmakers.

In response to Mr. Ruangkrai’s potential dissolution case against Pheu Thai, the party’s secretary-general, Sorawong Thienthong, clarified that Mr. Srettha had merely answered journalists’ queries about amending Section 112 as a prime ministerial candidate.

He stressed that it was not a campaign policy and the party prioritized practical issues impacting people’s lives.

Mr. Sorawong stressed the importance of maintaining the monarchy’s integrity, advising against any inappropriate actions.

The Constitutional Court recently directed the MFP to halt all efforts to change Section 112, stating such actions were perceived as attempts to disrupt the constitutional monarchy, violating Section 49 of the constitution.