Members and supporters of Thailand’s Future Forward Party are massing at the party’s headquarters in the on New Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok awaiting the Constitutional Court’s ruling on charges that it has engaged “in activities detrimental to the democratic system”. The case stems from a complain six months ago that Future Forward was involved in the imaginary “Illuminati” group, thought to want to overthrow the world’s monarchies.
Active in the 1700’s, the Illuminati were alleged to be a secret society behind campaigns to overthrow Europe’s monarchies and influence the American declaration of independence (in 1776). It has been a popular conspiracy theory directed at progressive democracies in recent decades.
The Future Forward party stands accused of attempting to undermine Thailand’s democratic system, as a constitutional monarchy. The charges stem from selected commentary from Future Forward executives, critical of the Thai monarchy. They also claim that the party’s political manifesto doesn’t specifically mention support for democracy under the monarchy.
The charges, which Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit dismissed as “nonsense” when they were came out last July, were filed by Dr. Natthaporn Toprayoon, a Thai lawyer and a former advisor to the ombudsman’s office.
Today’s judgement will be a historical political case, both in terms of the evidence provided over the “Illuminati” case, and the impact it will have on the Future Forward party in Thailand.
The party has already announced that it will call a media conference after the court delivers its verdict this afternoon. Yesterday Amnesty International called on the Thai government to stop what it described as “legal intimidation” of the Future Forward Party. It wants to see all charges filed against the party withdrawn.
The verdict is scheduled to be handed down from 2pm today.
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