Hundreds rally in Thailand against ban of political party

25-Feb-2020 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hundreds of students and supporters held a protest in Bangkok on Saturday against a court decision dissolving Thailand’s second-largest opposition party, less than a year after an election that ended direct military rule.

The Constitutional Court on Friday disbanded the upstart Future Forward Party, which won more than 6 million votes last year and came in third, for taking loans from its founder.

The court also banned 16 party executives from politics for 10 years, including its charismatic billionaire leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. The party and Thanathorn have denied any wrongdoing.

The ban strengthens the position in parliament of a coalition led by prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former junta leader who first took power in a 2014 coup.

The Student Union of Thailand called a rally at Thammasat University to protest against the dissolution of Future Forward, which draws its support particularly among young voters.

“We are holding the rally against the injustice in the country,” student union president Jutatip Sirikhan, 21, told Reuters.

Protesters held up the three-finger salute, inspired by the Hunger Game movies, a symbol of resistance adopted after the coup, and later lit candles in a show of defiance.

Future Forward’s leaders vowed to continue advocacy and political work across the country, including pushing for military reform and better welfare policies in line with their manifesto.

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Category: Thailand

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