THAILAND: 120 FFP members quit, including failed polls candidates

Former MP candidates and members of the Future Forward Party show the form they have filled to resign as party members at the Office of the Election Commission in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Former MP candidates and members of the Future Forward Party show the form they have filled to resign as party members at the Office of the Election Commission in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

One hundred and twenty members of the Future Forward Party, some of them former election candidates, have resigned, saying the FFP leaders have failed to keep their word.

Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on Monday confirmed their decision, and said it was their right and that the party had made mistakes. 

The members, led by Nipon Chamchamras, submitted their resignations from the party on Monday.

According to Mr Nipon, who stood unsuccessfully in constituency 2 of Chon Buri province in the March 24 election, losing to the Palang Pracharath candidate, FFP’s leaders did not make good on their pre-election promises.

The party leaders had told them that candidates who failed to win in the polls could become secretaries or consultants to those who did, Mr Nipon said. That had not happened.

“This shows they cannot keep their word even on such a small issue. How could they make good on their promises to the electorate?”  Mr Nipon said.

He said the disgruntled members were not bargaining for positions, there were also other problems involving management and party coordination centres.

Mr Nipon said his group still shared the same ideology, and have faith in the progressive party.

“We joined the party from the start when its name was barely known. We are not looking to destroy it when it is down, and we have not been approached to join other parties,” he said.

Former MP candidates and members of the Future Forward Party show the form they have filled to resign as party members at the Office of the Election Commission in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Mr Thanathorn and party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul have faced more than 20 complaints and court cases between them. The Constitutional Court will rule on Mr Thanathorn’s alleged ownership of  media shares in violation of the election law on Nov 20. Speculation is rife it might not be in his favour. If he is found guilty, it would affect the party.   

Other former candidates who resigned were Puvanart Kartsakul, who stood in Chon Buri’s constituency 3,  and Somchai Nuangchamnong, of constituency 4 in the same province, as well as Vorapoj Boonchanthuek, who failed to win in constituency 13 of Nakhon Ratchasima.

Most of the party members who resigned were lifetime members who had paid a 2,000 baht fee.

Mr Nipon said another group of 30 were also intending to resign on Oct 30.

Responding to the news, Mr Thanathorn said the party was unlikely to be affected.

“We have 60,000 members and we vow to move forward by allowing them to participate and giving them freedom of expression.

“Our party is only 18 months old. Apparently, nothing is perfect. But we will improve, by learning from our experiences and mistakes.”

He admitted there were some flaws in the screening process of MP candidates.

“We had only two months to screen them so we were unable to 100% choose the right people with [the same] ideology,” he said.

Also on Monday, Mr Thanathorn and Mr Piyabutr went to the Office of the Attorney-General to hear progress on two of their cases.

Mr Thanathorn and two party executives were charged with computer crime for saying on Facebook Live late last year the National Council for Peace and Order had exploited its influence to lure veteran MPs to join a party backing Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha. Public prosecutors already dropped the charges against him and it is in the process of waiting for police’s opinions whether they agree with the prosecutors.

However, police still have no word on the case and Mr Thanathorn is asked to come back again to hear the progress on Dec 2.

In Mr Piyabutr case, he was charged with contempt of court and computer crime when he read his statement on the Constituion Court’s decision to dissolve the Thai Raksa Chart Party in April.

Police now want to charge him with contempt of court and dropped the computer crime charges against him.

BANGKOK POST

About Antoni Uni

I am born in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and went to Spain, l'Escala - Costabrava, in 1988. After 15 years I made a mistake and went travelling in S.E. Asia. and in 2005 I dropped down in Bangkok where I still live. https://www.antoniuniphotography.com/ My website, more than 30.000 photos, is: https://www.antoniuniphotography.com/
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