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Opposition will ask NACC to probe Thai PM on three counts

Greeley Pulitzer

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Opposition will ask NACC to probe Thai PM on three counts | The Thaiger
PHOTO - Te Aung THU
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Seven of Thailand’s opposition parties are demanding that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) investigate Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha for allegedly breaching the law on three issues. They claim…

• The Prime Minister failed to state the sources of the Government’s revenue in its policy statement presented to parliament last year.

• The process of selection of senators was illegal due to the presence of members of the post-coup junta on the selection committee.

• The Prime Minister failed to recite the oath of office fully during the swearing-in ceremony, an issue which remains unresolved as the Constitutional Court has not accepted the matter for consideration.

The acting chief opposition whip and Prachachart party secretary-general Thavee Sodsong says the move is unrelated to the upcoming censure debate, where seven cabinet ministers, as well as the PM, are to be challenged.

The opposition will submit the official censure motion to the Lower House tomorrow. The House will set the dates for a no-confidence debate when the Government is ready defend itself against the motion.

Phumtham Vechayachai, advisor to the leader of the opposition, said that the Government should step down if it is shown that the Government cannot solve the nation’s pressing economic problems.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

US embassy, Amnesty International oppose Future Forward dissolution decision

Greeley Pulitzer

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US embassy, Amnesty International oppose Future Forward dissolution decision | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the disbanded Future Forward Party, addresses supporters following the Constitutional Court's ruling yesterday - Chanat Katanyu, Bangkok Post

In a statement today, the US embassy in Bangkok said the Constitutional Court’s decision to dissolve the Future Forward party risks disenfranchising more than six million Thai voters who voted for the party in last March’s general election.

“The United States strongly supports democratic governance around the world, and appreciates Thailand’s recent seating of a democratically elected government. While the United States does not favor or support any particular political party in Thailand, more than six million voters chose the Future Party in March 24 elections. The decision to disband the party risks disenfranchising those voters and raises questions about their representation within Thailand’s electoral system.”

Amnesty International yesterday called on authorities to reverse the decision and to “restore genuine rights to freedom of expression and association in Thailand.”

In a statement issued last night, regional director Nicholas Bequelin said the decision illustrates how Thai authorities use judicial processes to intimidate, harass and target political opposition.

“The dissolution of the Future Forward party is the culmination of the Thai authorities’ relentless onslaught against the party’s leaders and members since the lead-up to the March 2019 general elections. Both before and since the elections, the authorities have [issued] sweeping and vaguely worded legal restrictions to dissolve the party, and… disqualified the party leader from sitting in the parliament.”

“The Thai government, members of parliament, and all political parties in Thailand must commit to protecting the rights of freedom of expression and association. The international community, which has on the whole remained silent about human rights violations in Thailand, must clearly demonstrate it will not accept the outlawing of political opposition.”

Meanwhile, former National Intelligence Agency deputy director Nanthiwat Samart has accused the US embassy in Bangkok of interfering in Thailand’s domestic affairs. In an open online letter addressed to the US embassy, Nanthiwat said each country has its own history, culture and traditions, which do not necessarily align.

US embassy, Amnesty International oppose Future Forward dissolution decision | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Former National Intelligence Agency deputy director Nanthiwat Samart – Thai PBS World

“Friendly countries can express their fondness, concern and good wishes toward one another, but must respect each other’s differences and laws, which vary from country to country. The US judicial system is completely different from that in Thailand. America must not interfere and refrain from criticizing the law and judicial process of Thailand.”

“Politics is about the fight for power to administer a country. The US must not openly take sides with any political party, otherwise the relations between the two countries and the people of Thailand and the US may be affected. Hopefully, the US embassy understands diplomatic protocols.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Disbanded Future Forward Party vows to fight on

Greeley Pulitzer

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Disbanded Future Forward Party vows to fight on | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Future Forward Party founders Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul - File photo

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party (FFP), disbanded yesterday by the Constitutional Court, has vowed to continue fighting and announced the formation of “the Group of Future Forward,” which he says will continue the campaign to get Thailand back on the road to democracy.

He said leaders of the Future Forward Party have no intention of giving up their political activism despite the party being disbanded.

Apart from disbanding the party, the court banned 16 executives of the party from politics for 10 years, including Thanathorn, ending his short-lived career as a maverick politician who stunned the political landscape by placing third in a March 2019 poll, his first-ever election.

FFP secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul objected to the court’s ruling, calling the judges’ interpretation of the law “inappropriate” and accusing them of “applying double standards.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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Police end investigation into brutal attack on activist “Ja New”

Greeley Pulitzer

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Police end investigation into brutal attack on activist “Ja New” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pro-democracy leader "Ja New" Sirawith Seritiwat in hospitalised following a brutal attack in Bangkok last year - Bangkok Post

Bangkok police have abruptly suspended their investigation into the brutal attack on a political activist and pro-democracy leader in June of last year. Four men beat Sirawith “Ja New” with baseball bats on a main road in Bangkok’s Min Buri area on June 28. Despite having security camera footage of the attack, Bangkok police say they are unable to identify any of the four men. It was the second such attack on the man in a month. Seritiwat himself has expressed disbelief.

Sirawith posted on Facebook that his family received a letter of notification from police, which read (in Thai): “The investigation into the case has already been completed and the probe report was forwarded to public prosecutors, who recommended that ‘the investigation should be halted’ on the grounds that evidence gathered could not identify who was involved.

“CCTV footage was not clear enough to capture the faces of the attackers so that arrest warrants could be issued. An examination of CCTV recordings could not provide any clue where the attackers stayed or fled to. If the police investigating the case find substantive evidence to identify the offenders, arrest warrants will be issued and legal action taken.’’

In his post, Sirawith demanded to know when when the investigation would continue and his attackers brought to justice. He wondered police might be involved. The post drew sympathy and encouragement from supporters, many roundly criticising police for failing to arrest the assailants despite the clear surveillance camera footage showing the attack.

“Ja New” suffered serious injuries in an earlier attack when he was beaten with baseball bats by four men about 11am on June 2. His external injuries included a fractured eye socket, bleeding in the eyes and a broken nose. He was rushed to intensive care at hospital where a brain scan showed no hemorrhaging. He was conscious, but could not respond.

The following day, Future Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome said he had obtained security footage showing four men violently attacking Sirawith. Rangsiman wrote on his Facebook page that he and two other party MPs had visited and inspected the scene of the attack and spoken to vendors and motorcycle-taxi drivers in the area, who confirmed the details of the attack.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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