MFP’s Stance on Lese Majeste Weakens Ahead of Court Ruling

The Move Forward Party (MFP), the primary opposition group, appears to be wavering in its determination to advocate for changes to the lese majeste law.

This uncertainty comes as the Constitutional Court is set to decide the party’s future on January 31, as noted by Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Progressive Movement.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul voiced his disagreement on Facebook with the MFP’s recent policy direction.

The party aims to pass at least 47 bills this year but has excluded any mention of Section 112. MFP advisory chairman Pita Limjaroenrat announced this policy last Friday.

Pita Limjaroenrat shared this information upon resuming his parliamentary role, after a six-month suspension awaiting a Constitutional Court judgment about his iTV shareholding.

This Wednesday, the court ruled that his ownership of iTV shares did not disqualify him from a House seat.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul observed that the media is questioning the MFP’s lack of initiative in amending Section 112 of the Criminal Code in their legislative agenda.

He pondered whether the MFP’s reduced emphasis on this issue suggests compliance with the court’s influence, which is perceived by some to overshadow legislative power.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul speculated that the party might be adopting a wait-and-see approach regarding the court’s decision on January 31.

The same court is scheduled to deliver a ruling on the MFP on January 31 in a different case. The party is accused of attempting to dismantle the constitutional monarchy by campaigning for amendments to the lese majeste law during their election run.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul commented that the party’s wait-and-see tactic indicates a weakening of their position ahead of the court’s decision, suggesting a readiness to compromise their ideals for survival.

As a co-founder of the Progressive Movement, which has close ties to the MFP, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul expressed hope that the party’s executives would give careful thought to this matter.

Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, an MFP representative, stated that the upcoming January 31 ruling does not concern him. He emphasized that the party’s principles will persist, regardless of whether it is dissolved.

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, a representative and deputy leader of the United Thai Nation Party, accused the MFP of misleading the public by framing offenses under Section 112 as political acts, clarifying that they are, in fact, criminal charges.