Thailand: Move Forward Party Hit With Dissolution Petition

    Thailand: Move Forward Party Hit With Dissolution Petition
    Photo: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a political activist, on Thursday, filed a petition with Thailand's Election Commission seeking to dissolve the Move Forward Party over its plan to amend the lèse majesté law (e.g. insulting a sovereign or head of state).

    • The petition comes a day after the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that the country's main opposition party's election bid to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code constitutes an attempt to overthrow the constitutional monarchy and violates Article 49 of the Constitution.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While Move Forward may be well prepared for its dissolution and the subsequent reboot under a new name and leadership, its millions of young voters may get disillusioned with the political system amid indications that there's no hope for change. Royalist institutions in Thailand are in a permanent state of paranoia.

    Narrative B

    As Thailand still navigates between the traditional notion that the monarchy is a sacrosanct national institution and the modern belief that the people's will is sovereign, Wednesday's ruling against Move Forward reinforces the monarchy despite popular demands for changes. Since no decision will ever take this sentiment away, this move will backfire and mobilize support for the reformist party or its incarnation.

    Narrative C

    It's the Thai monarchy, not Move Forward or any other party, that suffers the most from controversies related to the royal defamation law, as these issues have constantly dragged the unifying national institution into political conflicts that it should transcend. If lawmakers can't improve the law to better serve the monarchy, they will inadvertently harm the country to the point of no return.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 75% chance that Thailand will experience a successful coup d'etat before 2040, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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