Constitutional court rules to dissolve Future Forward Party


BANGKOK – Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ruled to dissolve Future Forward Party (FFP) over the illegal 191-million-baht loan by its leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

Constitutional Court judges on Friday delivered the ruling that also bans FFP executives from politics for 10 years for accepting the loan from Thanathorn.

The controversial loan first came to light by Thanathorn himself when he told a session at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand.

In December, the Election Commission (EC) submitted a request to the court to disband the FFP for accepting Thanathorn’s money to finance its election campaign, thus, allowing him to dominate the party.

The court on Friday said it found that the FFP violated Section 72 of the organic law on political parties that prohibits parties and its executives from accepting cash donations, assets or other benefits from an illegitimate source.

By taking loan, the FFP also breached Section 62 which lists sources of income of political parties; allowing fundraising, donations and others but not loans.

The court also elaborated on Section 66 of the law that prohibits any individual from donating money or assets to parties in excess of 10 million baht within a period of one year.

None of the FFP members were present at the courtroom.  A large crowd of supporters and party executives followed the televised verdict reading at the party’s headquarters in the Thai Summit Building, which belongs to Thanathorn’s family.

The FFP executives’ MP status are also stripped while non-executive MPs must now join new parties within 30 days.

Legal experts say the loan was a hidden transaction in violation of the law on political parties intended to prevent domination by any individual.   Political parties must not seek donations of more than 10 million baht by signing a loan contract to avoid the rule, they said.

Last month, the FFP was acquitted in another case seeking to disband the party. The Constitutional Court rejected an allegation that the party’s senior figures undermined the monarchy.