Bangkok, Jan 21 (IANS) A major Thai opposition party was spared from being dissolved on Tuesday after a court ruled it did not attempt to overthrow the countrys monarchy because of its alleged links to the Illuminati, a secret society conspiracy theorists believe seeks world domination.
“There are not enough grounds to believe the (Future Forward Party) is exercising its rights or liberties to overthrow the democratic government regime with the king as head of state,” Efe news quoted the Thailand’s Constitutional Court’s ruling as saying.
The party – which obtained the third most votes in last year’s election – is led by billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 41, who ran on an anti-military junta campaign that took the country’s establishment by surprise and made him the target of several court cases.
The case was filed by lawyer Nattaporn Toprayoon last May and accepted in July, making headlines over allegations that the party’s goals were to overthrow the country’s monarchy on account that its logo resembled that of the Illuminati and threatened national integrity.
The case further said that Future Forward’s manifesto was also hostile toward the royalty which is protected by a draconian defamation law that jails anyone found to have disrespected the institution for up to 15 years per offence.
The party repeatedly denied allegations and maintained it’s the victim of a political persecution by the ruling government to widen its grip on power.
The sitting administration, led Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, formed a coalition comprising newly-formed Palang Pracharat party and Bhumjaithai Party, following an election the opposition criticized over alleged irregularities.
Thanathorn was one of the most vocal critics of the last military junta, which Prayuth headed from 2014 to 2019. The ultra-monarchist general has cracked down harshly on any dissenting voice.
The Future Forward leader has himself has faced several court cases.
Last November, the same court stripped him of his MP status for holding shares in a media company when he was presented as a candidate earlier in 2019.