Future Forward Calls for Protest; Police Issue Warning

Future Forward Party leaders react to the verdict on Feb. 21, 2020.

BANGKOK — Leaders of the now-defunct Future Forward Party called on their supporters to come out in a show of force on Friday night and protest the court verdict that dissolved their party.

Speaking hours after the ruling by the Constitutional Court, party co-founder Piyabutr Saengkanokkul urged the supporters to gather at their party headquarters on New Phetchaburi Road tonight and oppose what he termed as a fresh act of legal injustice.

“If those in power think this will starve the fire off its oxygen, let me insist that they are wrong,” Piyabutr said to a cheer at the party HQ. “This will spread like wildfire.”

The court today disbanded the popular party, which placed third in the March 2019 election, on the charge of receiving illegal donations from its party founder Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Sixteen party executives, including Thanathorn and Piyabutr, are also banned from politics for 10 years.

But Piyabutr insisted he and other leaders will continue to campaign regardless of their status. He said the party will continue to serve as a vehicle for changes under the new name, “Order of the New Future.”

“This is not the end, but only a beginning,” the politician said. “We are a monster created by time to haunt people in the old world, who live in the old thoughts.”

Party supporters are encouraged to bring candles with them for the rally.

However, police warned that any gathering or response to the court verdict must be within the boundary of the laws.

“I’d like to warn and pass the words to the supporters to think carefully about what might be at risk of violating the law,” police spokesman Kissana Phatanacharoen said. “Once we take legal action, there won’t be a step back.”

Deputy metro police commander Somprasong Yenthuam also said 150 policemen will be deployed to the Future Forward HQ.