Thanathorn Sues Officials for ‘Rushing’ His Case to Court

A file photo of Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit campaigning in March 2019.
A file photo of Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit campaigning in March 2019.

BANGKOK — Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said Tuesday he is not worried about the potential protest for the upcoming court verdict that would decide the political career of Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

A day after coalition politicians warned Thanathorn’s supporters against a demonstration, Prawit said the authorities have not found any credible threats of violence that could follow the Constitutional Court’s ruling on whether Thanathorn breached election laws. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

“It’s a matter of the judiciary. I believe there’s nothing to be worried about,” Prawit said. “It’s normal for people to turn up at the court to support him.”

Future Forward spokeswoman Pannika Wanich also announced Monday that Thanathorn has sued all the seven election regulations on charges of malfeasance. The Election Commissioners have accused Thanathorn of violating voting laws by owning shares in a media firm called V-Luck Media.

But Thanathorn said they had rushed to submit the case to the Constitutional Court without due process, bypassing a key witness testimony. Thanathorn said such procedure is required by law before the Commissioners could press a legal action against him.

Thanathorn also said that there was no evidence that he had committed the offense as he has already sold the shares on Jan. 8.

However, Thanathorn’s critics cast doubt on his claim, pointing to his campaign schedule which shows that he was not in Bangkok on that day.

The court will deliberate on Dec. 3 whether to hear Thanathorn’s lawsuit.

The law which the Election Commissioners used against Thanathorn prohibits MPs from holding shares in media companies. If found guilty, Thanathorn faces up to 10 years in prison. He may also be banned from politics for a maximum of 20 years.

He has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying he already sold those shares by the time he signed up to run for office.