Future Forward May Sue EC For Dereliction of Duty: Piyabutr

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruamgkit, left, and party secretary general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, right, at the Election Commission on Tuesday. Photo: Matichon
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruamgkit, left, and party secretary general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, right, at the Election Commission on Tuesday. Photo: Matichon

BANGKOK — Future Forward Party has threatened to sue the Election Commission for dereliction of duty if the commission goes ahead with a new formula for allocating party-list MPs that could see the party lose up to eight seats.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary general of Future Forward Party, announced at a press conference this morning that the new formula could see his party lose seven or eight seats, down from a projected 88 MPs.

Under a previous formula released by the commission prior to the March 24 elections, it was expected that a party would need to win over 71,056 votes in order to gain one party-list MP seat. But under the latest formula being entertained, 30,000 to 69,000 votes may suffice – a lowering of the threshold that comes at the expense of parties with a large share of the popular vote, such as Future Forward.

“Future Forward Party may be directly and adversely affected…We reserve the right to take legal measures,” said Piyabutr, adding that Article 157 of the Criminal Code and Article 69 of the Election Commission Act both outlaw dereliction of duties by state official and organs.

Piyabutr added that under the Election Commission Act, commissioners could face up to five years in prison, fines of no more than 100,000 baht and the suspension of their electoral rights for 10 years. The maximum imprisonment term is 10 years for violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code.

In a related development, Meechai Ruchuphan, former chairman of the junta-appointed constitutional drafting committee, declined on Tuesday to comment on the appropriate formula for allocating party-list MPs. Meechai told reporters that he has completed his duty and that it’s now up to the Election Commission to make a decision on the matter.

Meanwhile, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has submitted a box of evidence in support of his claim that he transferred his shares in the media company V-luck before running for a seat in parliament. Last week, the Election Commission accused Thanathorn of failing to transfer the shares before he registered his candidacy, which would constitute a violation of electoral law.

“I am feeling very good and very confident about making the clarification,” said Thanathorn on Tuesday.

Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul.
Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul.