Move Forward Party eyes 3 new leaders amid possible dissolution

Image courtesy of The Nation

On the brink of potential dissolution by the Constitutional Court, the Move Forward Party (MFP) is preparing contingency plans, including identifying three potential leaders for a new party. This comes as the party defends itself against accusations of attempting to undermine the constitutional monarchy through its efforts to amend the lese majeste law.

Party insiders reveal that the MFP’s core members are deliberating over who might lead a successor party if the Constitutional Court rules against them.

The candidates under consideration are party-list MPs Sirikanya Tansakun and Chaiwat Sathawornwichit, and Veerayooth Kanchoochat, an academic from Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

The Election Commission (EC) accused the MFP of violating the Political Party Act due to its push to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code. This action, according to a prior Constitutional Court ruling, was interpreted as an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.

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The Constitutional Court accepted the EC’s complaint, scheduling the first hearing for June 12.

MFP Patriarch Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit advised MPs to prepare for the formation of a new party, acknowledging the potential dissolution. According to party sources, Thanatorn emphasises the necessity of this preparation at a meeting in late March.

If the party is dissolved, its leader and executives would face a political ban. Current leader Chaithawat Tulathon indicated he would step back to work behind the scenes if this happens.

Sirikanya Tansakun is seen as a strong contender to lead the new party. A former research fellow at the Thailand Development Research Institute, she is the party’s economics chief and has been with the MFP since its original form as the Future Forward Party (FFP). Not holding an official party post, she would not be affected by a ban.

Veerayooth Kanchoochat, favoured for his close ties with Thanathorn, has been instrumental in shaping the party’s policies since the FFP days. He was key in the party’s impressive performance in the 2019 elections.

Chaiwat Sathawornwichit, a first-term MP elected last year, is another leading candidate. With a background as the former director of corporate strategies at the Bank of Thailand, Chaiwat holds a significant position within the MFP and is considered a core member.

As the hearing date approaches, the MFP continues to strategise, with a keen eye on the future and potential leadership transitions to ensure its political vision endures, reported The Nation.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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