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Thailand Constitutional Court decision proves authoritarianism will brook no opposition

(The Network for Social Democracy in Asia's statement on the Constitutional Court of Thailand's decision to dissolve the Future Forward Party and to bar its leaders from participating in politics.)

The Network for Social Democracy in Asia deplores the decision taken by the Constitutional Court of Thailand to dissolve the Future Forward Party and to ban its leaders from participating in politics for 10 years. We stand in solidarity with the Future Forward Party, a member party of the network, in the face of this blatant repression.

This decision can only be construed in the context of the Military establishment’s tightening grip on power and their quest to quash any and all dissent. Now, the country’s military rulers have decided that even a severely restricted opposition party cannot be tolerated.

We commend the leaders and members of the Future Forward Party for bravely pushing the limits of the political establishment by joining the calls of the Thai people for the restoration of democracy, respect for human rights and civil liberties. We are proud to call them fellow comrades in the struggle for freedom and democracy. Despite the legal hurdles set up against them, the Future Forward Party succeeded in becoming the third largest political party inside the House of Representatives of Thailand in its first election. This a reflection of the growing discontent with the military establishment’s repression of democracy.

We stand vigilant with the Thai people in protecting democracy in Thailand and in strongly pushing the limits that restrict democratic citizens’ participation in politics. We urge the Thai people to remain steadfast in their commitment to democracy as it is now becoming more obvious that the military establishment has no interest on keeping the façade of parliamentary democracy, much less respecting the independence of its political institutions. The citizenry has the responsibility to prevent the complete elimination of any vestiges of democracy. If their voice is silenced through banning their legally elected representatives and political parties, then they must make their redress through other democratic and nonviolent forms of struggle.