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Thai court to reconvene next week on PM

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court will reconvene next week on two cases that could plunge the kingdom into turmoil – one targeting the prime minister, and one the largest opposition party.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin could be thrown out of office if he loses his ethics case over the appointment of a Cabinet minister with a criminal conviction.

The Move Forward Party (MFP), which won most seats at last year’s general election but was blocked from forming the government, could be dissolved over its campaign pledge to reform Thailand’s tough royal insult laws.

The court said yesterday it had “ordered relevant parties to identify witnesses and evidence” in Srettha’s case, and told the election commission to submit more witness accounts in its petition against the MFP.

The court will meet for further deliberations next Tuesday – the same day former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will formally face charges of insulting the monarchy.

MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat has said he is confident the party will win its case, warning that a dissolution order would be an “attack on democracy”.

But the Constitutional Court has dismissed prime ministers and wound up political parties in the past, most recently MFP’s forerunner the Future Forward Party, over financial issues in 2020.

That dissolution was the catalyst for mass youth-led street demonstrations that shook Bangkok for months and helped MFP to its poll success last year.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. PHOTO: AFP