BANGKOK, Jan 21, 2020, SCMP. Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday acquitted the country’s third-biggest political party of seeking the overthrow of the country’s constitutional monarchy. The court ruled the Future Forward Party showed no intention of committing the offence, and that the complaint had not been filed according to the correct legal procedure, South China Morning Post reported.
The party still faces the threat of dissolution under another pending charge of breaking election laws by taking a large loan from its leader, auto-parts billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
The case was based on a complaint that claims the party is seeking to overthrow the revered constitutional monarchy and is linked to the Illuminati, a secret society that conspiracy theorists believe seeks world domination.
Founded almost two years ago by Thanathorn, the Future Forward Party came third in last year’s general election, which the opposition says was manipulated in favour of the pro-military Palang Pracharat Party.
Thanathorn, 41, has emerged as the most prominent opponent to the government led by Palang Pracharat, which reinstalled former junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, 65, as a civilian prime minister five years after he staged a military coup.
Before the ruling, Future Forward spokeswoman Pannika Wanich said the case was an attempt to eliminate the party, using a claim of protecting the monarchy that few would dare argue against.
The case, accepted by the Constitutional Court in July, included the allegation that the party’s triangular logo signifies association with the Illuminati, making the party a threat to Thailand’s constitutional monarchy.
Language in the party’s manifesto as well as past business investments, Facebook pictures and academic briefings by key party figures allegedly suggested personal hostility towards the constitutional monarchy since before the party was founded.
“I looked into their behaviour from the past to now,” said Nattaporn Toprayoon, who filed the complaint last May. “I did it because I’m Thai. The monarchy is of utmost reverence.”