Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, former leader of now disbanded Future Forward Party, has announced the setting up of a Future Forward Group to continue its ideology and political moves after his party was formally dissolved by the Constitutional Court on Friday [February 21].
“The group will be a gathering of people who want to carry on our party’s ideology following the initial objectives when the party was set up,” Thanathorn said at a press conference on Friday at the party headquarters in Bangkok.
The conference took place hours after the Constitutional Court dissolved the Future Forward Party over a Bt191-million loan from its party leader. Its party executive members were banned from politics for 10 years.
The party allegedly violated the Political Act for receiving a Bt191-million loan from its leader, Thanathorn, during an election campaign last year.
At the conference, it said the party disagreed with the ruling.
Thanathorn also apologized to his supporters for not be able to keep their promises to end the perpetual power of the military, amend the current charter and reform the military.
He added, however, that while the party was finished and its executive members banned from politics, the journey had yet to end.
“This is not the time to be sorrowful and it’s too early to cry because Future Forward is more than a political party. It is a soul, a people and a journey,” he said.
“They want to destroy us and this is a proof that they can’t. This is the time to remain steady and stand up,” Thanathorn said without elaborating who “they” were.
Despite being banned from politics by the court ruling, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, former secretary general of the now defunct party, said he and Thanathorn will continue their political campaign nationwide.
“This is not the end but the beginning because we are ghosts of the times and will haunt people living with the old way of thinking.
Piyabutr also urged Future Forward’s supporters to gather at the party this evening to give support to each other.
“Please gather here to show them our force and send a signal to the film’s director that they will never get what they want,” he said, again without naming who “they” were.
However, it is not yet clear which party the remaining 65 party MPs who survived punishment, will join within 60 days in order to retain their MP status.