US Senator blasts Thai government over MFP threat

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Ben Cardin voiced his alarm over the potential dissolution of Thailand’s Move Forward Party (MFP). He issued a stern warning to the Thai government, urging them to uphold democratic principles and avoid stifling political opposition.

Taking to social media, Cardin expressed his concerns.

“I am deeply concerned by developments in Thailand on the potential dissolution of the MFP. I urge Thai authorities to ensure fair treatment for MFP and respect for the will of the many Thai people who cast their votes in support of MFP candidates.”

Cardin emphasised the need for any action against the MFP to adhere strictly to due process and the rule of law, highlighting the shared democratic values between Thailand and the United States.

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This outcry follows similar warnings from the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR), a network dedicated to advancing human rights in the region. APHR has called on the international community to take action to prevent what it describes as the misuse of judicial instruments to dissolve the MFP. The group asserts that Thailand’s democracy is in peril, not only from military coups but also from questionable legal manoeuvres aimed at silencing opposition.

APHR warned of serious consequences if the MFP is banned, similar to the dissolution of the Future Forward Party in 2019. Millions of Thai citizens could be disenfranchised, leading to potential unrest and instability in the country.

The situation is set to escalate with the Constitutional Court scheduled to deliberate on June 18 on the Election Commission’s request to dissolve the MFP and disbar its executive committee members from politics for 10 years. The case stems from a previous court ruling alleging that the MFP’s campaign pledge to amend the lèse majesté law constituted an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, reported Thai PBS World.

In related news, the Thai Constitutional Court convened to address significant political issues, including the alleged subversion by the MFP and a petition questioning Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s qualifications following the appointment of Pichit Chuenban as Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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