A portrait of His Majesty the King stands at a September meeting of Action Coalition of Thailand. Photo: Action Coalition of Thailand Party
A portrait of His Majesty the King stands at a September meeting of Action Coalition of Thailand. Photo: Action Coalition of Thailand Party

BANGKOK — Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Wednesday that political parties can make protecting the monarchy a campaign issue but must refrain from accusing other parties of attacking it.

Wissanu, a junta legal adviser, was responding to remarks by Action Coalition for Thailand’s Suthep Thaugsuban, who has campaigned loudly that safeguarding the monarchy is among his party’s key policies.

Wissanu said that can be done as such sentiments are in the hearts of all Thai people and already the main policy of all parties. That was echoed today by the commission’s secretary-general.

Charungwit Phumma said that while protecting the monarchy was an acceptable ideology, election regulations state that no candidate or political party should use the monarchy for campaigning.

“If it’s just an ideology, and they don’t use the monarchy in their campaign, then that’s fine. We must look into individual cases, however,” Charungwit said in an interview.

Asked if parties that don’t explicitly proclaim such a policy could be tarred as against it, Charungwit said that question must be “considered anew.”

“It’s the reverse side of the issue,” said Charungwit, who had no immediate answer.

It’s a timely topic as legal threats pile up on the way to March 24. In one such case involving royal allegiance, The Future Forward Party today filed a libel suit against a man who had accused them of seeking to topple the monarchy.

Asked what the party thinks about using the monarchy as a campaign issue, party spokeswoman Pannika Wanich said they have no policy to use it as a political tool.

“The party has no policy to use the institution as a political tool. It also does not want other parties to use the institution as a tool for political attack,” Pannika said.