Thai court accepts case seeking to disband opposition Move Forward Party

1 week ago 37

Updated

Apr 03, 2024, 01:32 PM

Published

Apr 03, 2024, 01:12 PM

BANGKOK - Thailand's Constitutional Court on April 3 said it had accepted a case seeking the dissolution of the opposition Move Forward Party, in another blow to a popular anti-establishment movement pushing major institutional reforms in the country.

The court agreed to take on the complaint filed by the election commission asking to disband Move Forward for its controversial campaign to reform a law that shields the powerful monarchy from criticism, under which at least 260 people have been prosecuted in the past few years.

The case came after a January ruling by the same court that found Move Forward's plan to amend the law was unconstitutional and tantamount to an attempt to overthrow the system of government with the king as head of state.

Move Forward has rejected that.

Move Forward pulled off a stunning feat in winning 2023's election but was blocked from forming a government by lawmakers allied with the royalist military. It is the biggest party in the Lower House with about 30 per cent of seats.

Its platform of institutional reform resonated among young and urban voters, including a plan to amend the law protecting the crown, which carries a punishment of up to 15 years jail for each perceived insult of the royal family.

Thailand's monarchy is constitutionally enshrined to be held in a position of "revered worship" and many royalists see the law as sacrosanct.

The palace typically does not comment on the law, which is among the strictest of its kind in the world.

If...

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