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Statement on the Regression of Democracy and Suppression of Political Opposition in Thailand

Thailand: Statement on the Regression of Democracy and Suppression of Political Opposition

We the undersigned parties, express our grave concern over the decision of the Constitutional Court of Thailand that the Move Forward Party’s plan to amend the country’s infamous Article 112 (lese majeste law) is to be construed as an attempt to overthrow the government of Thailand and its Head of State. This decision is a blatant intrusion into the work of Parliament and a violation of the Principle of the Separation of Powers.

This court decision is further proof that the regime will mobilize any and all resources to suppress political opposition. It is a saddening development that the Thai judicial system is now being used to harass the main opposition party in what could be deemed a “judicial coup” when and if the court moves to dissolve the Move Forward Party (MFP). Despite the current government’s claims of being democratically elected and adhering to the rule of law, it is clearly neither. The regime has abandoned all pretensions to democratic principles and the rule of law.

We express our fear that this move, along with the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of Thai democracy activists and politicians, is a tightening noose on democracy and human rights in the country. The people of Thailand have the right to peaceful assembly, expression, and political participation. We are afraid that this move will precipitate the eventual dissolution of the MFP and a clampdown on the vocal political opposition in the country.

This would not be the first instance the judiciary has dissolved a progressive political party. The forerunner of the MFP called the Future Forward Party was also dissolved under similar motivations – to curtail the growth of progressive movement and silence political critics. Despite this setback, we reiterate our solidarity with our MFP comrades and the broad progressive and democratic movement in Thailand. Their struggle for the restoration of democracy and the reform of the political system to benefit all sections of society is also our own struggle. As progressives and socialists committed to democracy, freedom, human rights, and international solidarity, we find this political regression in Thailand a setback that disenfranchises the millions of people who aspired for change through the ballot in the elections of May 2023. We encourage fellow democrats to remain vigilant and collectively safeguard human rights in the face of the renewed trials against Thai democracy.

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