Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
Thailand’s Future Forward Party acquitted of charges of trying to overthrow monarchy
© WikiMedia (Zsoy)
Thailand’s Future Forward Party acquitted of charges of trying to overthrow monarchy

Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that key figures of Thailand’s opposition political party, Future Forward, were not guilty of seeking to overthrow the country’s monarchy.

The charges were based on social media posts and academic publications made by the members before the party was founded. The members were also charged with being linked with the Illuminati, a claim which was not addressed by the judge.

While the charges were dismissed, one judge noted that the party should change the wording in its manifesto to emphasize the King’s power as head of state. The king is revered in traditional Thai culture, with insults against the monarch punishable by up to 15 years in prison and much steeper repercussions for any plot to remove the monarchy.

The Future Forward party stand in opposition to Thailand’s current government, headed by a former military junta leader. They came in third place in the country’s general election last year. The party maintains that the anti-monarchy charges were a politically motivated attempt to suppress dissent against the government.

Future Forward’s secretary-general, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, emphasized after the ruling came in that neither he nor the party had any desire to overthrow the monarchy. The still party faces other legal cases, including one alleging that they accepted loans in violation of electoral law.