Monarchy vs. the people

5 06 2023

The old guard, desperate to head off a popular government, have been using the monarchy with relentless enthusiasm.

So far, the Move Forward Party is sticking with its election promise to reform Article 112. Of course, the old men and women who align with the military and monarchy are using 112 as a proxy for the monarchy and the whole edifice of the ruling class system.

Seeking to push the proposed coalition forward, Pol Gen Seripisut Temiyavet, leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party “has assured the Senate that he will not allow the lese majeste law to be amended, in what is seen as a bid to woo support ahead of the prime ministerial vote.”

His party has one seat. Move Forward currently holds 151.

One might wonder how the aged policeman can vow: “I will not allow Move Forward to amend the law. Other parties [which are partners of the prospective coalition] such as Prachachart and Pheu Thai have also opposed the bid.” He adds that 112 is not in the coalition Memorandum of Understanding.

The latter is certainly true, but the MOU also permits parties to pursue their core election promises. MFP deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakun, who insists on the freedom of expression principle, “all parties have the right to advocate for additional policies as long as they do not contradict the policies outlined in the agreement.” As such, she says Move Forward will submit the same bill it did in February 2021.

It is looking increasingly likely that the monarchy is being “protected” by opposing the people. This could end very badly.

Updated: Defeating the people

4 06 2023

A media outlet comments: “More than a fortnight after the May 14 general elections in Thailand, voters are still far from certain who will be their country’s next prime minister. Or whether the poll body will allow the winners to take their parliamentary seats at all.”

It is an deeply disturbing situation, and as well as the unelected, junta-appointed senators working against democratic outcomes, the delay is suggestive that the “deep state” is hard at work undoing the election result.

Referring to the unelected swill, the report asks:

How can a liberal-leaning young politician [Pita Limjaroenrat] who campaigned on instituting social reforms and curbing the influence of the monarchy and the military win the trust of non-elected older senators, who owed their positions from the military, which is loyal to the King? Can he convince at least 63 of those senators to join their House counterparts and back his candidacy?

He might, but even if he does, there are plenty more efforts underway to undo him and the Move Forward Party. This is exactly as the conservatives who drafted the 2017 constitution for the military junta wanted it. As the report adds:

Since the senators are mostly appointed by the military, many of them also have military and security forces backgrounds. The majority was even appointed by the same military leaders who staged the coup d’etat in 2014. Former ministers, civil servants and lawyers have also been appointed senators.

And, with reprehensible legal vulture Wissanu Krea-ngam tutoring Move Forward opponents, even if Pita could overcome the senate, he’s likely snookered, with consisiderable attention to the ludicrous claim that Pita owns shares in a “media company”:

On May 31, Thai Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, a Thai jurist who advised the military leadership after the 2014 coup d’etat, hinted at the possibility of Pita’s disqualification by Election Commission and Constitutional Court]. He said that the details of the complaint against the candidate for prime minister’s shareholding in the media company iTV Plc would be a key factor determining his eligibility.

He said that if the complaint targets his eligibility to be a prime minister, then Pita can still serve as a member of parliament. But if it targets both his premiership bid and membership of parliament, then the court could rule on both.

The report concludes: “An unfavourable decision by the Election Commission could put Pita and the Move Forward Party into unchartered territory and push the country into political disarray.”

It isn’t uncharted territory given previous party dissolutions, coups, and judicial coups, but political protest is indeed likely. The events of 2020 did not emerge from nowhere, but from the dissolution of Future Forward.

Update: As has become its standard practice, the Election Commission is seeking to whittle away at the leading party’s MPs, seeking to disqualify them. The Election Commission’s chairman has now stated that “some 20 winning candidates attached to the Move Forward-led coalition may have been involved in electoral wrongdoings as alleged in petitions filed with the polling agency.” The EC and its commissioners have no shame.

The unelected vs. the people

2 06 2023

The unelected are fighting hard to overturn yet another election result they dislike.

The Nation reports that a core group of senators – all appointed by the military junta and loyal to that bunch of coup makers including Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha and Gen Prawit Wongsuwan – “are actively lobbying their peers not to vote for Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat to become Thailand’s 30th prime minister.” They reckon this will mean Move Forward has no chance of leading government.

From Wikipedia’s article on lese majeste

At the report has it: “Sensing an opening, the NCPO loyalists in the Senate have proposed that the next government be formed with Prayut and Prawit as key ministers so that they can continue running the country.”

These junta loyalists are arguing that “voting for Move Forward is tantamount to betraying the monarchy…”. Their “evidence” is “Move Forward’s repeated vow to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code…”. Reform is “proof of the party’s opposition to the monarchy.”

While this unelected gang figures that using the monarchy in this way is a winning strategy, it is, as one academic pointed out, a dangerous strategy:

… this royalist tactic imperils democratisation, political stability, and the crown itself. It is risky for the monarchy because it does what Article 112 allegedly seeks to prevent: it negates its constitutional position as “above politics.” The royalists, by situating the monarchy at the core of their rejection of the people’s mandate, expose the monarchy as a political target.

The corrupt are loyal

1 06 2023

According to Prachatai, Lampang Deputy Governor Chamlak Kanpetch, who has been investigated for alleged disloyalty to the monarchy, has declared that “he is a true royalist, and willing to die for His Majesty.” More fool him, but you get the picture regarding the ridiculousness and buffalo manure demanded by the rightist-royalist regime (which is still in place and deeply embedded).

He was investigated by a panel of six for clicking the like button on the Facebook page of Yan Marchal, known for his political parodies of Thailand’s monarchy and junta. The deputy gov claims he was “framed” by someone disgruntled about a land deal. We wonder if the deal should be investigated.

This would be silly if it were not reflective of the old regime’s efforts to stymie the popular vote and engineer a more “royalist” regime than any that would include Move Forward. It is remarkable that mad monarchism now means that a pro-Thaksin party is more reliable than Move Forward. Just a month ago the royalists feared a Puea Thai coalition government and still hates Thaksin Shinawatara. Now the tune has changed as the old men and women of the entrenched ruling class seek to see off Move Forward as dangerous anti-monarchists and to prevent mildly progressive change in the country.

Even the caretaker prime minister, never elected but aligned to a party that was crushed in the election, has decided that he’s still the boss and can order folks around.

The Nation agrees that Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha “appears to be having a hard time moving on from his crushing election loss.” Yet there he is, warning “the party that won the most seats in May 14 vote – Move Forward – against amending Article 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law.”

When the defeated general was asked if he was against amending Article 112, he replied: “Of course.” He added: “It has to be that way. It is in the heart of soldiers, police, civil servants, and many people…. They don’t agree and they wonder why [Move Forward would amend it.]”

Who support Article 112, meaning the monarchy? He says, “many people,” but we can never know for sure. But we do know that more than 60% of the people who voted threw in their lot with parties that want reform or had expressed concern about 112.

He says the military. Some of the election results show that many of the rank-and-file voted for progressive change and against military-backed parties. We also know that the military is a bloated and corrupt organization led by hundreds of more or less inactive generals who, like Prayuth, live high on the hog.

He says the police. Here he refers to a vast and corrupt mafia-like organization, where a new scandal involving billions emerges almost every day.

In other words, protecting Article 112-cum-crown is an exercise in protecting the corrupt.

Burning down the house

31 05 2023

According to Prachatai, a teenager, known only as K., has been indicted for lese majeste “after a prosecutor in the Office of the Attorney General ruled that burning a portrait of the King is the same as burning the King himself.”

Read more on burning portraits of the king here.

Clipped from Asia Democracy Chronicles

The teenager was arrested on 8 September 2021, when just 17 years old. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights said K. and another person were “arrested without a warrant and were detained for around 20 hours, during which their clothes, mobile phones, and motorcycles were confiscated.” They were questioned about protests in the Din Daeng area. The police “requested an arrest warrant after searching their residences and confiscating their belongings.”

K. was charged with lese majeste, violation of a curfew imposed under the Emergency Decree, arson, participating in a gathering of more than 10 people, and being disorderly in public. Additional charges included “allegedly shooting a slingshot and setting fire to a royal ceremonial arch near the Din Daeng intersection during a protest on 6 September 2021.”

K. was indicted on 26 May 2023.

TLHR reported that “Somsawat Thepnamsomanay, a public prosecutor at the Office of the Attorney General’s Family and Juvenile Case Division, ruled that setting fire to a ceremonial arch containing a portrait of King Vajiralongkorn is an offence under the royal defamation law because a portrait of the King is a representation of the King himself, and therefore burning the portrait is the same as burning the King himself and shows that the protesters involved wanted to destroy the monarchy.”

The prosecutor also accused K. of “throwing explosives and using a slingshot to shoot marbles at crowd control police during the protest and setting a fire on a public road, as well as tearing down the King’s portrait and stepping on it before setting fire to it.”

K. was granted bail on a security of 10,000-baht, and is scheduled to appear in court on 24 July 2023.

Updated: Don’t even talk about 112!

31 05 2023

The Bangkok Post reports that Teerayut Suwankesorn, claimed to be a lawyer, has filed a petition request with the Office of the Attorney General, requesting that that Office “forward a petition to the Constitutional Court requesting that it order Move Forward leader and aspirant prime minister Pita Limjaroenrat and his party to cease their campaign to change the lese majeste law.”

As well as demanding that Move Forward “cease all attempts to amend or abolish Section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law,” he also opined that the court order Pita and Move Forward “to stop expressing opinions in speeches, articles, publications and advertisements which could lead to Section 112 being amended or abolished.”

Teerayut previously acted as a lawyer for fascist monk Buddha Issara.

Meanwhile, the tycoons who own pay TV in Thailand are censoring international news on Move Forward and Article 112. They are either being ordered to this or are doing it off their own bat as misguided, rich, loyalists acting in the interests of ultra-royalists and palace. In this case, it was the BBC that was blocked when there was discussion with Pita regarding lese majeste.

Pita’s interview is available in English with Thai subtitles:

Update: Read Pravit Rojanaphruk’s opinion piece on these disturbing issues.

112 update

30 05 2023

So… PPT chose the wrong time to go on holidays. So much happened. Our apology comes in the form of an update, focused mainly on lese majeste.

In the middle of the month, there was an election. Lots of enthusiasm, with the military-backed monarchists defeated in a progressive landslide, with Move Forward coming out on top. But hold on. Two weeks later, and once again the same military-royalists are seeking to overturn the result. A variety of mechanisms have been deployed to get rid of Move Forward and to split the proposed coalition apart. We found several articles particularly useful in explaining the situation: Thitinan Pongsudhirak has two insightful articles in the Bangkok Post on 19 May and 26 May, while Kevin Hewison had “Thailand’s Orange Wave: Progressives, Conservatives, and Monarchy” with Australian Outlook.

The senate votes

Most noticeably the appointed senators have gotten off their posteriors, awoken from junta-induced sleep, and have been poked into action to oppose the electorate. Their action is unequivocally about the monarchy, with the proxy issue that is front-and-center in the royalist rejection of Move Forward is Article 112. Of course, the military junta’s constitution writers made sure that the unelected have the capacity to reject a prime minister.

Meanwhile, the judicial system has been hard at work, charging, convicting, and repressing. It seems that the courts and prosecutors are keen to push lese majeste cases through the courts, ensuring that as many are locked up as possible. Here’s a summary, Based on Prachatai’s excellent reporting, which begins with a good news story (although appeals may be ongoing):

The monarchy and Thai society IV

13 05 2023

The Monarchy and Thai society


The next point is that in addition to the expansion of the royal prerogative by the monarchy in excess of that permitted by the system, the dictatorship of Prayuth Chan-ocha has referred to the monarchy in order to undemocratically govern this country. Part of this is the enactment of the National Budget Act that allocates funds to the monarchy without examination of the monarchy’s expenditures, brothers and sisters.

This is an important issue. Every organization that uses funds from the national budget must be audited and must be able to be criticized. But this is not an issue for this government. Funds have been apportioned in many areas in excess of necessity. For example, the Ministry of Commerce has promoted the fashion clothing of Sirivannavari. The national budget has been used to promote the personal brand of a princess.* This is this government’s excessive sucking up to the monarchy. This would not happen if we had an elected government.

The next point is the parliamentary provision of a more than 5,000,000,000 baht [153.8 million USD] budget allocation for air travel in the National Budget Act. We have seen the problems that arise where our monarchy is abroad for long stretches. Within a democracy, parliament is able to hold a debate and advise the king to return to the country. But such things do not arise in Thailand. Many tens of thousands of millions of baht have been squandered without any oversight.

This does not include the budget of the local organizations that constructed roadway arches to glorify the monarchy to the tune of tens of millions. Whether people are going to be loyal to the monarchy or are going to believe in the monarchy has nothing to do with the roadway arches, but rests on the actions of each royal. Therefore, this toadying excessive allocation of the national budget to construct such arches, when we are facing COVID-19 and impoverished people have nothing to eat, must stop from this point forward. They should not exist. If they do, only as necessary and in concert with the country’s economic state.

I speak today out of great concern for the country. I speak about the problems that have arisen from the expansion of the monarchy’s royal prerogative as a citizen. I do not have any other intention, brothers and sisters. I am not just blathering on either: I have proposals to address the problems.

After this, if we amend the constitution, have an election, and have a parliament with representatives who are on the side of democracy, the sections of the constitution that pertain to the monarchy must be revised. The king must be in Thailand in order to be the revered idol of those of us in the country, rather than going to live in Germany. In cases in which he does go, a regent must be appointed to act in his stead in Thailand so as to not leave the country king-less. The king should be in the country as befits a democracy with the king as head of state. This must be addressed.

The next matter that must be addressed is amendment of the law that has allowed the assets which are the public property of the country, which belong to us, to be transferred to the monarchy. This has taken place via the 2018 Royal Assets Structuring Act. These assets must be pulled back to be ours once again. The law must be revised so that the assets which belong to the public, whether Sanam Luang, or Wat Phra Kaew, are returned to belong to us, the people, brothers and sisters.

If this is left unaddressed, brothers and sisters, it is unavoidable that there will one day be a violent clash between two groups and two ideologies. One day, if we choose a political party that favors democracy, they must dive in and amend this law. If they do not do so, a battle will ensue. For sure. Each one of us must work together to vote for the party that has a policy to revise the constitution to really and truly bring the monarchy under it. We must vote for the party that has a policy to return public assets to the people. Choose that party, brothers and sisters. Do not choose parties with policies to expand and expand the royal prerogative, who squander the national budget and who do not pay attention to the economic conditions of the people. We will starve to death, but they expend and lavish money upon the monarchy to the tune of tens of thousands of millions. Do not choose them. People like this need to be taught a lesson.

Finally, thank you to the brothers and sisters who have come to listen and participate in the Harry Potter-themed activism today. If anything happens because I spoke the truth, whether I am threatened, or prosecuted, or killed, I do not regret it. Today I have spoken the truth. And this truth will be with every one of you, brothers and sisters. We are going to haunt the dictators until real, actual democracy belongs to each and every one of us.

Next, representatives of the students are going to read a declaration. They are going to affirm their group’s principles and share the stance that the students from Kasetsart University and Mahanakorn University have adopted in organizing today’s event. Brothers and sisters, if there is another protest, if anyone is going to talk about the problem that has been pushed under the carpet, I ask everyone to talk about it responsibly. I ask everyone to talk about it frankly. And I ask everyone to talk about this problem with respect and a sense of their own humanity, brothers and sisters. Don’t just castigate the monarchy. Provide facts. Present ways of solving the problems. Be straightforward. I believe that everyone is ready to listen and solve the problems now. We have to collectively resolve the problem of the monarchy before there is a crisis of faith in the country and before the belief in the monarchy declines further.

*Sirivannavari is a fashion label run by Rama 10’s daughter of the same name. –trans.

The monarchy and Thai society III

11 05 2023

The Monarchy and Thai society


This is merely the opening scene of the transformation of the monarchy’s royal prerogative that poses a problem to democracy. It is the promulgation of law by a parliament of dictatorship. The next is that our monarchy has remained silent in excess of necessity and allowed people to progress by referencing the monarchy over and over again in order to damage those who think differently about politics.

The first person I am going to talk about, who has pulled the monarchy in to support himself is named Prayuth Chan-ocha. Brothers and sisters, do you recall that the constitution stipulates that before a person is to become prime minister, he must take an oath in front of the king? He must pledge that he will be loyal to the monarchy and rule faithfully, and, importantly, protect and act in accordance with the Thai constitution. But Prayuth Chan-ocha intentionally did not pledge in front of our king that he would protect and act in accordance with the Thai constitution.*

What is this meaning of this, brothers and sisters? What it means, brothers and sisters, is that Prayuth Chan-ocha did not give his word that he would not once again tear up the constitution. Prayuth Chan-ocha did not give his word that he would act in accordance with the constitution. But the monarchy still allows Prayuth to refer to them over and over again.

That alone is not enough. I do not believe that the monarchy, which has military units who serve as an intelligence wing, a wing that looks after social networks, are not aware of the how people like Major General Rienthong Nanna use the monarchy to smash us.** I do not believe that he does not know. But that the monarchy and the Bureau of the Royal Household do nothing even though they know that there are individuals who refer to the monarchy and then come down to smash the people. This makes us unable to resist asking, really, what does the monarchy think about us? If my voice reaches the monarchy and the Bureau of the Royal Household, allow me to call on him to express a neutral political stance. Deal with Major General Rienthong and do not let him hurt the people, don’t let him threaten us anymore.

In addition, this country still distorts many other important issues. The monarchy has been twisted so that it is the institution of a particular group of individuals, not an institution of all Thai people in the country. This particular group has claimed that the actions of those who call for the removal of Prayuth Chan-ocha are equivalent to the toppling of the monarchy. This is not the case. Calling for the removal of Prayuth is calling for the removal of Prayuth. The amendment of the constitution is the amendment of the constitution. Saying that the removal of Prayuth is the equivalent of topping the monarchy is an exaggeration.

That group of individuals must cease doing so before those in the country come face to face with violence. Additionally, each and every one of us must try to talk about this genuine problem openly and in public. Starting tomorrow and from now on, if I am invited to speak but those who invite me ask me to contort myself and not talk about the monarchy, I will not do it. I will only go up on stage when given the chance to speak the truth. And I maintain, on my manly honor and my human dignity, that I speak with respect and sincerity. If I lie, even a little bit, let me expire within three, seven days, brothers and sisters.

*Section 161 of the 2017 Constitution stipulates that: “Before taking office, a Minister must make a solemn declaration before the King in the following words: ‘I, (name of the declarer), do solemnly declare that I will be loyal to the King and will faithfully perform my duties in the interests of the country and of the people. I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect.’” But on 16 July 2019, Prayuth Chan-ocha, the prime minister, led the cabinet in swearing the oaths of allegiance. Prayuth concluded by stating “I will faithfully perform my duties in the interests of the country and of the people.” But he missed the sentence of “I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect.”

**Major General Rienthong Nanna is a retired army officer and physician who established an organization, the Rubbish Collection Organization, in 2013. The group carries out witch-hunts against critics of the monarchy, including publicly outing them and filing criminal charges of lèse majesté against them.–trans.

The monarchy and Thai society II

9 05 2023

Arnon and Panupong

The Monarchy and Thai society


The first of these laws was the 2017 Royal Service Administrative Act. This law created the opportunity for units to be established directly by the king and to act according to the king’s pleasure, but for the salaries of such units to be paid by the people.

An important law, the 2018 Royal Assets Structuring Act, was then drafted. An organization, the Crown Property Bureau, already existed to manage the assets of the king. There may have been problems and arguments over who looked after the assets of the crown and [personal] assets of the king. But the amendment of the constitution and the promulgation of this law in 2018 was an earth-shattering transformation of Thai politics.


Because after this, brothers and sisters, those assets which were national, public assets which we owned collectively, whether Sanam Luang or the palaces or the shares of stock of which we once shared ownership, became the property of the king and subject to management according to the king’s pleasure.

This mattered but no one dared to talk about it. That is the reason why the younger brothers and sisters asked me to speak today. How is it important? When the People’s Party transformed rule [from absolute to constitutional monarchy on 24 June 1932], they made a clear division of assets. The People’s Party did not touch those which belonged to the king. But those which came from our taxes before the transformation were given to the state to administer by the People’s Party. It is important in that these assets, many of which we once used communally, are no longer as such. For example, children played and homeless people dwelled on Sanam Luang when it was not being used for royal ceremonies. We will not see such things anymore.

That alone was not enough. The transformation of the assets of the crown to be administered solely by the king caused another point of law to arise. When our king is residing in Germany, according to the terms set by the state of Bavaria in Germany, he may be required to pay tens of thousands of millions in baht in tax. To whom do those tens of thousands of millions of baht belong? It is the tax money of each and every one of us. This is a significant vulnerability of which the Prayuth government has never spoken.

All of us witnessed the subsequent problematic amendment of the constitution. All of us have talked about it. The students who are down below the stage have all talked about it. But many have turned a deaf ear to it. What problems arise when the king does not live in the country? At present, a Western incarnation of King Tabinshwehti is ridiculing our king in Germany by projecting lasers and having children shoot air guns.* It is unseemly and has arisen because the king is not in the country. It also includes the instance of ministers being unable to swear an oath of allegiance before being appointed. They had to wait for the king to return to the country first. Everyone is aware of this problem. All of the police know but no one dares to discuss it. Everyone who came to the demonstration on 18 July 2020 who held up posters about this knows.** But no one talks about it.

Today, therefore, Harry Potter has to talk about it [referring to the persona and theme of the protest – PPT]. It is not only that laws been been promulgated that have caused the monarchy to move outside democracy. Do you remember, brothers and sisters, when the election was held in 2019? The elected government proposed another law: the 2019
Royal Decree on the Partial Transfer of Forces and Budget of the Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters, Ministry of Defence to the Royal Security Command, a Royal Unit. The 1st and 11th Infantry Regiments were transferred for the monarchy to supervise according to the king’s pleasure.

This is significant. No democracy exists in which the king is given the power to supervise such a large number of soldiers. Not a one. Doing so is risky. It risks transforming a monarchy that exists within a democracy into an absolutist regime.

We are lucky in our unluckiness in that there was one daring political party which stood up and raised this issue in parliament. Allow me to mention his name. At the time, he was a member of parliament for the Future Forward Party and said that they did not endorse the promulgation of a royal decree transferring military forces to be under the monarchy.

That person is named Piyabutr Saengkanokkul. He was the first and only member of parliament in decades of Thai history who dared to stand up and raise this issue in parliament. He discussed the troubling nature of this transfer because it was accomplished through royal decree, rather than allowing a wide-ranging debate in parliament. In addition, placing many military units under the monarchy risked leading to a change in the form of governance. As fate had it, talking about this issue led to the dissolution of the Future Forward Party.***

Today, we are a democracy with the king as head of state. But the monarchy exercises royal prerogative in excess of that permitted in a democracy. With respect for the monarchy, there is no way to solve this problem without talking about it.

This kind of discussion is not the toppling of the monarchy. But it is talking about it so that the monarchy will exist in Thai society in a manner that is correct and legitimate for a democracy with the king as head of state. All of the students who came out to protest after the new year are aware of this. All of the students who hold up posters with messages containing a double meaning that mention the individual I have already discussed are aware of this. From now on, there must be discussion of this in public. Each of us must demand that members of parliament discuss this in parliament as our representatives.

Do not leave it to those on the margins to have to talk about the monarchy and then face threats and harassment all alone. Do not leave it to the political exiles to talk about the monarchy and then be brutally murdered and disappeared. From now on, this is not going to happen anymore. From now on, no one who comes out to talk about the monarchy will be accused of being crazy or insane and scooped up and put in the hospital even though they spoke the truth. Brothers and sisters, this is not going to happen any more.

*King Tabinshwehti was the king of Burma from 1530-1550 CE and led the first (1547-1549) in a series of wars between Burma and Siam (the predecessor of present-day Thailand) that continued until the mid-1800s. In June 2017, two German teenagers shot air guns at Rama 10 on a bike path in Munich. In early 2020, activists used laser lights to project questions about the monarchy on to the exterior walls of a hotel where Rama 10’s entourage was staying in Germany.—trans.

** On 18 July 2020, Free Youth held a protest at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. Both Arnon and Panupong Jadnok were later arrested for their participation in the protest.—trans.

***On 21 February 2002, the Constitutional Court ruled to dissolve the Future Forward Party and cited as a reason that a loan of $6 million USD that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the party’s leader, was a donation and therefore illegal. The party was disbanded and its leadership, including Thanathorn and Piyabutr, were banned from holding political office for ten years.—trans.

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