Thanathorn Tells Party to Fight on Regardless of Verdict

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Nov. 20, 2019.

BANGKOK — Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Wednesday instructed his party to keep working for the public regardless of a crucial court verdict on his future today.

Thanathorn, whose MP status was suspended by the court in May, visited his fellow party lawmakers at the Parliament today before he went to hear the ruling by the Constitutional Court in northern Bangkok. The tribunal is due to decide whether he broke election laws by owning shares in the media – a crime that could see him jailed and barred from politics for 20 years.

“We will keep working. The best way to defend our party is the work of all of us,” Thanathorn addressed the MPs at a breakroom. “If our MPs dedicate themselves for the people … and turn our policies into practical outcomes, that’s the best way to defend our party.”

Thanathorn also said he’s confident in his innocence, telling his lawmakers that he might be back at Parliament later this afternoon just in time for another session

“Future Forward Party is not Thanathorn,” he said. “Future Forward is all of us.”

He then raised his hand in a three-finger salute – an anti-junta sign adopted by activists following the coup in May 2014 – to the cheers of his MPs.

Thanathorn stands accused of owning shares in a media firm by the time he registered to run in the March 24 election, which is prohibited by voting laws.

If found guilty, Thanathorn would be disqualified from parliament and barred from entering politics for a maximum of 20 years. He would also face a jail term of up to 10 years.

The court will start its reading at about 2pm, according to a schedule released to the media.

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