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Future Forward Party might be dissolved

Jack Burton

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Future Forward Party might be dissolved | The Thaiger
Photo: Future Forward Party
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The Constitutional Court will deliver a ruling on on Nov 20 that could make or break the Future Forward Party (FFP) and its leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

The party and Thanathorn face a slew of legal cases that seriously jeopardise their political future. The FFP, which has 80 MPs, could be dissolved and its 24 executives banned from politics.

If the court rules against Thanathorn, it might cause a “domino effect” and the party could be disbanded, observers say.

The Election Commission (EC) claims that Thanathorn held shares in a media firm, V-Luck Media, when he registered as a candidate. This would violate the EC charter, which prohibits owners and shareholders of media or publishing firms from applying to become MPs.

The court suspended Thanathorn from MP duties on May 23, pending a ruling.

The FFP and Mr Thanathorn have had several legal cases brought against them in recent months with some saying the party has been in a downward spiral since was created in 2018.

An internal rift also emerged in October, when 120 former election candidates and party members resigned en masse, accusing Thanathorn of ignoring unsuccessful candidates and breaking promises to give them political jobs.

A few party MPs also rebelled and voted in favour of government bills, like an executive decree to put army units under royal command, and the 3.2 trillion baht 2020 budget.

There are three cases, though, which could truly dissolve of the FFP. One involves donations by Thanathorn and his wife. The FFP leader donated 10 million baht to the party and his wife gave 7.2 million baht.

An activist has asked the EC to rule whether the couple are legally considered a single entity, because if so, their combined donations would break the law, which caps donations at 10 million baht.

Thanathorn may have broken the same law by lending more than 100 million baht to the party. Activists have accused Thanathorn and the party of trying to end to the monarchy.

The FFP’s secretary general says it’s surprising the party has so many legal cases against it, despite not being in power.

“I want to ask if everyone really feels the party broke the law or whether this is because the party’s approach has upset those in power,” he said in an interview.

If the party is disbanded, its MPs still have 60 days to switch to new parties and retain their MP status according to law. But if the FFP manages to get through this rough patch and survive, it will likely grow into a major party, matching or even surpassing the Pheu Thai Party, according to the FFP spokesman

SOURCE: www.bangkokpost.com

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Bangkok

Bangkok’s Ying Charoen wet market reopens after fire

Jack Burton

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Bangkok’s Ying Charoen wet market reopens after fire | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Coconuts Bangkok

Most of the Ying Charoen market in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district reopened after fire destroyed about 160 stalls. Earlier estimates put the number at around 50 stalls. No injuries were reported. The blaze in the 30 rai compound reportedly began at a bakery at about 3am and quickly spread to nearby stalls. It took firefighters about 2 hours to control the flames.

Officials say about 200 vendors have been affected. They are being allowed to sell their goods in the market’s car park for the time being. About 10% of the market structure was damaged and remains cordoned off, as 70% of stalls reopened. There were about 1,500 stalls trading at the 65 year old market, the area’s oldest.

One of the structures damaged was a gold shop, whose owner estimated damages would exceed 1 million baht.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thai nightlife grapples with “new normal”

Jack Burton

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Thai nightlife grapples with “new normal” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: People.com

Thailand’s nightlife scene is grappling with a ‘new normal’ as changes upon its recent reopening see facemasks joining the normal bikini wear in red-light districts across the Kingdom.

After being forced to close for more than 3 months in order to stop the spread of Covid-19,bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours are in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen under new conditions, now that Thailand has gone more than a month without any community transmission of the virus.

The reopening means a return to work for hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have struggled to survive. “Bee,” a 27 year old dancer, who goes by her stage name at the XXX Lounge in the Patpong district, said:

“I lost all my income. I’m glad that I can come back to work in a job that I’m good at. I’m ok with the mask because it’s one of the precautions.”

All customers must have their temperature taken before entering, and must give a name and telephone number or register with the Thai Chana app. Inside, everybody must sit at least one metre apart, and 2 metres from the stage. But one British expatriate questioned the need:

“You can take a BTS train in the morning with 200 people on a packed train but then you come into a bar and still have to sit 2 metres apart.”

The government has staggered the reopening of public places over several weeks with schools, colleges and universities officially resuming yesterday.

Despite a low death toll (58 out of 3,173 infections- a relatively low number even within the region), Thailand’s economy is expected to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia, with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% or more this year.

At the Dream Boy club in Bangkok’s Patpong Soi 1, bare-chested men with face shields tried to entice the few passersby off the street, but many businesses remain shut and those who have opened are only seeing a few customers.

“There are bars all over Bangkok that have been open for 10 to 15 years and now they are closed and they are not coming back.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire

Jack Burton

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Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

An old Bangkok market was reportedly damaged by a large fire early this morning, taking over 20 fire trucks and at least two hours to put out the blaze.

Ying Charoen Market, in Bangkok’s northern Bang Khen district, saw vendors fleeing the flames and taking their merchandise with them after firefighters were called to the scene at 3 am. The fire, which took down the areas’ oldest market, reportedly left no injuries due to the market being closed at the time. Investigators this morning are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

A 33 year old market employee, said the fire destroyed about 50 stalls in a part of the market selling miscellaneous goods. The market, which is made of wood, has about 1,500 stalls in total. He said it was the first fire at the market in its 65 years of being open.

Old Bangkok market damaged by large fire | News by The ThaigerOld Bangkok market damaged by large fire | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok | Nation Thailand

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