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‘Grow up’ , ‘don’t throw tantrums’ – Palang Pracharat spokesperson

The Thaiger & The Nation

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‘Grow up’ , ‘don’t throw tantrums’ – Palang Pracharat spokesperson | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Uttama Savanayana, left, and Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana

Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, deputy spokesperson for Phalang Pracharat Party, is lambasting the opposition for being “childish and narrow-minded” as it filed its petition to censure the PM.

He says the opposition should give the new government some time to work before launching no-confidence motions against it.

“I want the opposition to be more open-minded and give the new government some time to do their job. If they see something wrong, then the opposition can file a censure motion. They should not act like children and throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want.”

Thanakorn was responding to the petition submitted to the House Speaker by opposition Pheu Thai MP Cholnan Srikaew – a censure motion against PM Prayut Chan-o-cha if he gives the Finance portfolio to Phalang Pracharat leader Uttama Savanayana.

Opposition politicians have said that Uttama is not qualified for the job as he was allegedly involved in a loan scandal while working as a senior executive at the state-owned Krungthai Bank.

However, Thanakorn dismissed this allegation on Friday as a move by the opposition to discredit his party’s leader.

“I have explained repeatedly that Uttama was never involved in the scandal,” he said, adding that Uttama has passed the scrutiny of several agencies, including the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of the Attorney General – all appointed under the jurisdiction of the NCPO over the past five years.

“Most importantly, the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders also found that Uttama was not involved in the wrongdoing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Phalang Pracharat leader Uttama painted himself as the victim of politically motivated distortion yesterday by posting a message on Facebook headlined: “I did nothing wrong, don’t distort facts”. In the post, he said moves to link him to the Krungthai loan scandal were politically motivated as investigation and court trials have already proved that he was not among the wrongdoers.

“And I was cleared at all stages of scrutiny and examination. Please don’t distort facts,” his post said.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Politics

Thanathorn calls on Thais to demand Constitutional amendment

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thanathorn calls on Thais to demand Constitutional amendment | The Thaiger

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit is calling a Constitutional amendment “necessary,” and encourages supporters to “take a strong stance against dictatorship.”

The former MP also says it’s time for people to take a clear stance on the issue.

“The country is at a crossroads and it must decide whether to rewrite the current Constitution in blood, or if it should be amended with everybody’s consent, Thanathorn told a forum at Thammasat University on Saturday.

At the forum, the FFP allied with six other opposition parties to push for an amendment to the current Constitution, which they call authoritarian and “a product of dictatorship.”

Thanathorn says the amendment is “not an exception but the rule. It is the only way society can survive,” according to the Bangkok Post.

“This is not the time to be shy or coy about it.”

In the past, several parties have nominated MPs to sit on the House of Representatives’ special committee to study a charter amendment. But Thanathorn says an amendment is urgently needed to resolve social and political conflicts and bring a fair distribution of power.

“The leaders of the 2014 coup that unseated elected prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra have kept the power to themselves… which has set the country back by decades. He insists the fight will not end until democracy is fully restored.”

Thanathorn believes the relative calm in the country since the coup is an illusion. The reality, he says, is that the people are being oppressed by the old guard. He has said changing the constitution is not the only goal, and that the battle is against an administration that is dividing and exploiting the people.

Even the leader of the establishment Pheu Thai Party says all sectors of society must understand the need to rectify the charter. He calls on the government to fund a referendum, saying people should show their discontent by voting overwhelmingly for the amendment.

Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, on the other hand, believes the current Constitution should be completely abandoned and a previous charter, whichever is most acceptable to the people, should be reinstated, along with a new premier.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Future Forward’s Thanathorn says he’ll “bring people to the streets”

Greeley Pulitzer

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Future Forward’s Thanathorn says he’ll “bring people to the streets” | The Thaiger

It’s the biggest political rally since the general election in March, probably the largest rally in five years since before the military coup in 2014. Thousands of supporters chanted “Prayut get out” at an anti-military demonstration called by former MP, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit.

Thanathorn told demonstrators that last evening’s rally on the skywalk linking the National Stadium and Siam BTS stations was just the beginning of actions against the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. He threatened to “bring people to the streets,” referring to the “Wing Lai Lung” (Run to Oust the Uncle) event, a running event planned for January 12.

Thanathorn says the rally was to demonstrate public anger at what he calls the injustice inflicted on him and the Future Forward Party. He organised the protest three days after the Election Commission voted to ask the Constitutional Court to dissolve Future Forward for alleged campaign finance violations.

The rally was peaceful, lasting less than an hour, with a minor skirmish between protesters and police around 5.40pm. The theme of the protest was a strong anti-military rhetoric. Although police say no permit was granted for the rally, they did not intervene.

Meanwhile PM Prayut dismissed the rally as “a personal matter,” referring to Thanathorn’s current legal problems.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Bangkok

“This is just the beginning” – Thanathorn warns the government

The Thaiger

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“This is just the beginning” – Thanathorn warns the government | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Thousands gathered in the first large anti-government rally in over five years – Khaosod English

He tried to do it legitimately by running for office in the March election. His party performed above expectations, garnering the third highest number of votes after less than 12 months of existence. And Thanathorn was just votes away from being elected Thailand’s Prime Minister.

Now he’s back on the streets fighting what he, and his supporters, describe as “anti-democratic forces”.

Thousands of people rallied in support yesterday in the largest street protest in more than five years. Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit threatened “it’s just the beginning”.

Whether the charges against him and his party by the Election Commission are legitimate or trumped-up, Future Forward now find themselves on the back foot, being pushed out of parliament with a string of cases being heard by the Constitutional Court. Putting aside his parliamentary suit and tie for rolled up sleeves and megaphones in the street, puts Thanathorn on course for a head-on clash with the Thai establishment.

Thanathorn called for the central Bangkok protest on Friday after the latest moves to ban Future Forward – the most vocal challenger to the coalition government under the leadership of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The crowd assembled on the skywalk linking the National Stadium and Siam BTS stations, not shy of making their statement right in the busy heart of the city. They didn’t mince their words.

“We’re just here today as a test run. Prayut, don’t be afraid yet. The real thing is next month.”

The protest, attracting thousands, ran for an hour, was without incident and wrapped up just after 6pm. During the protest many flashed the anti-junta “three-finger” salute, made popular in the movie “Hunger Games” and representing a stand against oppression..

The Election Commission approached the Constitutional Court this week asking for the ruling body to disband the Future Forward Party on grounds it had accepted money or other benefits from “an illegitimate source” under Section 72 of the Political Parties Act.

Thanathorn lent 191 million baht to the party in January this year. The loan was documented and signed off by party officials. Section 66 of the Act prohibits a donation of more than 10 million baht to a party by any individual in any one-year period. But Future Forward say it was a loan, not a donation. If found guilty, Thanathorn and 14 other FF party executives could be banned from politics for at least five years.

Back at the Pathumwan Intersection, Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangruangruangkit told several thousands supporters that the people would no longer put up with political injustice.

“We come together today in a show of force, to show that we will not retreat and will not put up with things any longer. This is not a day to protect the Future Forward, but a day to to protect the future of all Thais.”

“An hour is enough. Once we’re done, we will go home.”

And they did.

But he parted with an invitation and urged supporters of Future Forward to show up next month at the “Run Against Dictatorship” running event scheduled to take place on January 12. He also said there will be a much larger rally in the future.

For the ruling government, and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, Thanathorn is no longer a polite MP discussing matters in the Parliament. He is now a renegade high-profile voice against their legitimacy. The government, using its blunt tools of the Election Commission and the Constitutional Court, has now pushed Thanathorn and the Future Forward Party into a corner. And now they’re fighting back.

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