Updated: Election and legal activism

27 02 2019

A week or so ago academics Khemthong Tonsakulrungruang and Björn Dressel wrote at New Mandala about the rise of the courts as the junta’s election approaches.

Their comments were mainly about the Constitutional Court and royal family member and (happy to use the title) Princess Ubolratana’s ill-fated 12-hour effort to become prime minister.

On that case, due in Constitutional Court today, if the court rules to disband the Thai Raksa Chart Party, the proceedings will end. However, if the court goes to an extended trial, then the Election Commission will have prosecutors from the Attorney General prosecuting its case.

In the latter case, the decision will take weeks to months to be decided, presenting an opportunity for the court to change the election outcome.

For the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and two other party officials appeared at the prosecutor’s office over a case brought by the junta under the Computer Crimes Act. Prosecutors decided that they will not again meet until 26 March to consider whether to indict the Future Forward folks. Just two days after the election date, this also allows the judicial process to change election outcomes.

Watch these judicial interventions as politics by another means.

Update: It seems the Constitutional Court has decided to avoid weeks to months and will drop its decision on Thai Raksa Chart in just a week. That is presumably not good news for the party. Indeed, the court stated “that it will base its decision on documents submitted by the EC and the party without having to call in witnesses.”


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