Court says Thai opposition not looking to oust monarchy

Party supporters celebrate the court’s ruling at the Future Forward headquarters in Bangkok. (AP pic)

BANGKOK: Thailand’s second-biggest opposition party escaped dissolution Tuesday after being found not guilty of seeking to oust the monarchy.

The Constitutional Court in Bangkok ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to back up the charge against the Future Forward party. Televised images showed the verdict triggered celebrations at the party headquarters in the capital.

One of the claims in the petition before the court was that Future Forward’s logo evoked the secret Illuminati sect “believed to be behind the unseating of monarchies in Europe”.

The term “Illuminati” traces back hundreds of years and has become a watchword for discredited conspiracy theories about secretive groups trying to control world affairs.

Future Forward denied the allegations, describing them as part of a crackdown on dissent by the royalist establishment after a disputed March election that ended five years of direct military rule.

The party faces other cases, including one on funding violations that would lead to dissolution if it is found guilty.