Yesterday (4 March), the Election Commission (EC) accepted a petition filed by Srisuwan Janya, Secretary-General of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, against Thanathorn Juangroonruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party (FFP), for violating Section 73(5) of the 2017 organic law on the election of MPs.
Srisuwan claim that Thanathorn deceived the public by publishing false information on the FFP website which said that he served as the president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) for two terms, when in fact he was chairman of a provincial branch in Nakhon Nayok.
The EC has since issued an urgent letter to Srisuwan calling him to testify on the case at the EC headquarters on Wednesday (6 March).
Pannika Wanich, the Party’s spokesperson and Director of Communications, said at a press conference this morning (5 March) that if there are charges against the Party, the FFP will insist on defending themselves according to the judicial process.
Srisuwan, Civic Election Participation Partnership
As for the petition against Thanathorn, Pannika said that it is Srisuwan’s right to file such a petition, and it is the EC’s duty to consider the case, but she said that the Party is sure that a simple piece of misinformation in Thanathorn’s profile will not lead to the Party’s dissolution.
Jade Donavanik, a legal scholar, said on 21 February that misinformation on the website may lead to party dissolution under Section 73(5) of the organic law, but later corrected himself, saying that it will not lead to dissolution, and apologised for misremembering the detail.
Pannika insisted that it was a technical mistake which was corrected within hours after coming to light, and that the Party had no intention of misleading the public. She said that there is no need for the FFP to explain their case to the EC, but if the EC would like them to testify, the Party is happy to do so.
Pannika also said that the Party is not worried about these cases, and that they will follow legal procedures.
“The one who is afraid and is doing everything in their power, and using legal channels to undermine the Future Forward Party is the NCPO. They are the ones who are afraid. We, the Future Forward Party, and the people who support us, are not afraid, because we are heading towards victory on 24 March, election day,” said Pannika.