Moving Forward: 55 Disbanded MPs Join New Party

A news conference by Move Forward Party on March 8, 2020.

BANGKOK — Fifty-five MPs of the now-disbanded Future Forward Party will begin their exodus to a surrogate party and follow the legacies pursued by its predecessor, their party leader said Sunday.

Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the remaining Future Forward MPs camp, said the lawmakers will move to the new party, called Move Forward Party, by next week. He said the new faction will share the same ideologies of its forerunners and operate independently from former leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

“The mission for us, the 55 MPs, is to continue the ideologies and tasks of the Future Forward Party. Please rest assured that our new home has the same heart,” Pita said. “We will stand by people and democracy. We will oppose the perpetuation of the military junta, and push forward progressive agendas.”

Read: Future Forward Successor Says He Will Continue the Fight

He continued, “We are not getting any policies from anyone. Every MP has been working together for the past 1-2 years. They have their own thoughts on policies and ideologies. Therefore, we are now making our own journeys, and all the decisions are made entirely by ourselves.”

The announcement was made about two weeks after the party he had belonged to was dissolved by a court, who ruled it took illegal loans from Thanathorn. The verdict also banned Thanathorn and its executives, including 11 who also served as MPs, from politics for 10 years.

Asked whether the new party will face the same demise as its predecessor, Pita said the Move Forward Party will draw a lesson from the past, starting by reliance on small donations and merchandising instead of large sums of money.

“I’m not concerned as long as my fellow MPs are standing next to me,” Pita said. “We have got a lesson and we have learnt from it. What should be questioned instead is the current political climate, in which people and students are demanding it to be inventive and direct. Of course, we will be more careful.”

He said he is confident that all the 55 MPs will follow him to the new home; some of the Future Forward MPs have defected to coalition parties in recent days, including nine to the Bhumjaithai and one to the Chartthaipattana.

Party-list MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn will serve as a spokesman.

The new logo, which bears similar color scheme and design to the Future Forward logo, was also unveiled during the news conference at what was the Future Forward’s liaison center in Thonburi. It is expected to serve as the new party’s headquarters.

The Move Forward Party was initially registered in 2014 under the name Ruam Pattana Chart Thai Party. It changed its name to Pungluang shortly before the 2019 general elections, and was later renamed as Move Forward.

The Election Commission approved the new name on March 6, just two days prior its official debut.