Move Forward filed a lawyer’s complaint for allegedly insulting the Thai royal family when the party proposed changing the law on military service.
On 22 May, attorney Theerayuth Suwankaesorn filed a complaint with the Election Commission of Thailand (EC), urging it to seek a Constitutional Court ruling on whether the Move Forward party committed a crime when it proposed a crime. of the penal code or not.
The law stipulates that anyone who commits a crime in the army by “defaming, insulting or threatening the King, Queen, Heir or Regent” will be sentenced to three to 15 years in prison.
“Move Forward’s plan could erode, damage or weaken the country’s vital monarchy,” lawyer Theearyuth said, adding that if the court rules against Move Forward, the party could be dissolved.
Thailand’s Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat in Bangkok on May 14. Photo: Reuters
The EC has not yet received the complaint from attorney Thereayuth. The lawyer’s move comes hours before Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat and the leaders of seven other parties signed a memorandum of understanding seeking to form a coalition government.
Move Forward’s deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakul said last week that parties joining a coalition with Move Forward would not necessarily support the plan to amend Article 112 of the penal code.
Pita has now formed a coalition of 313 of the 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies. To become Prime Minister of Thailand, he needs to get at least 376 votes from 500 deputies and 250 senators. The leader of Move Forward would therefore have to bring other smaller parties into the coalition or convince at least 63 senators to support him.
Experts estimate that for Pita to become Thailand’s prime minister, the Move Forward party will need to gain more support from a group of pro-military senators in the Senate and agree to set aside the goal of reforming the law during the military period. Currently, Move Forward does not call for the total repeal of the military service law, but wants to make clear that the law should only be applied when the Thai royal family makes a complaint, to avoid abuse.
Ngoc Anh (according to the Bangkok Post)