Leader of anti-junta party suspended from Parliament
BANGKOK: A court in Thailand suspended the leader of an anti-junta political party as a member of Parliament yesterday, a day ahead of the opening of the legislature for the first time since the disputed March 24 election.
The Election Commission endorsed rising political star Mr Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 40, as a member of Parliament this month but it later launched a case against him over his alleged illegal holding of shares in a media company.
Mr Thanathorn is now barred from taking up his seat pending a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which could see him permanently disqualified.
"The court has unanimously decided to accept the case for consideration and will send a document asking the accused to refute the charge within 15 days," the court said in a statement.
The court did not say when it would deliver a verdict but said the suspension was necessary because Mr Thanathorn's role as a member of Parliament could "cause legal problems" for the legislature.
Mr Thanathorn's new progressive, youth-oriented Future Forward Party came a surprise third in the March general election and has joined up with an opposition "democratic front" that aims to block junta chief Prayut Chan-o-cha from staying on as Prime Minister.
The Election Commission accused Mr Thanathorn of breaching the Constitution by holding shares in a media company after registering as a candidate for the election.
Mr Thanathorn has denied the charge and said he had already transferred his shares before he officially registered. - REUTERS
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