BANGKOK: Thailand’s progressive Move Forward Party (MFP), which won the 2023 election but was shut out of government, said today that it was confident about a court case probing campaign pledges to reform royal insult laws.
MFP won the most seats in the May polls.
But then leader Pita Limjaroenrat was blocked from becoming prime minister by conservative forces in the upper house of Parliament.
The party’s vow to reform Thailand’s tough lese majeste laws spooked the largely royalist, pro-military senate, whose members were appointed by the last junta.
The constitutional court is considering a petition arguing that MFP’s pledge to reform lese majeste laws amounted to an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.
Pita, who led the party in the election but has since stepped down, gave evidence at a hearing today.
He said that it “went well”.
“If you look at the scopes of the laws and accusations, the worst situation is that the constitutional court would ask us to stop the proceeding (of campaigning to amend the law),” Pita said, rejecting suggestions that the party is at risk of being dissolved.
The court said it would give its verdict in the case on Jan 31.
Current party leader Chaithawat Tulathon said they were confident the policy was not in breach of the law.
MFP rode on the support of young and urban Thais weary of nearly a decade of military rule to secure a shock election victory in May.
But Pita was blocked from the prime minister job and MFP was shut out of government as the Pheu Thai Party of veteran playmaker Thaksin Shinawatra took power in coalition with pro-military parties.
Pita is also fighting another case in the constitutional court that seeks to bar him from politics for owning shares in a media company – which is against the law for Thai lawmakers.