Popular reformist Move Forward Party removes policy to amend Thai monarchy defamation law

The Constitutional Court ordered MFP not to attempt to amend or abolish the law on Jan. 31, 2024.

Amber Tay | February 02, 2024, 03:50 PM



Thailand's Move Forward Party (MFP) removed its policy proposal to amend the Lese Majeste monarchy law from its website on Feb. 1, 2024, after they were ordered by the Thailand Constitutional Court to stop all actions and speeches that call for the amendment or abolishment of the law on Jan. 31, 2024.

Policy on Lese Majeste law amendment no longer found on website

The Lese Majeste law penalises any criticism of the monarchy and carries a maximum of 15 years in prison for each charge.

The MFP, formerly led by Pita Limjaroenrat, had proposed to amend the Lese Majeste law during the 2023 Thai General Elections.

On Jan. 31, 2024, the Constitutional Court ordered the MFP to cease all attempts of amending or abolishment of the law.

According to The Bangkok Post, the court stated that MFP's attempt to amend the law is considered an attempt to end the constitutional democracy with the king as head of state and is a violation of Section 49 of the constitution.

Section 49 prohibits people from exercising their rights or liberties to overthrow the monarchy.

Such attempts include actions, expressing opinions, speaking, writing, publishing, advertising and conveying messages by any means in pursuit of amending the Lese Majeste law.

The court ruled that MFP's campaign on the Lese Majeste law would bring the monarchy in conflict with the people.

On Feb. 1, 2024, Khaosod English tweeted that the MFP has removed its policy proposing to amend the Lese Majeste law from its website.

Three activists sentenced to jail in January 2024

In a press conference after the court's ruling on Jan. 31, 2024, Pita said that MFP's "attempted amendment was to keep Thailand as a constitutional monarchy and find a consensus for Thailand to move forward politically."

He also emphasised that the MFP's attempts was not "an alibi nor was it an attempt to cause any deterioration of the monarchy" and that he "did not have any intention of separating the monarchy with the national security."

A 30-year-old Thai activist named Mongkol Thirakot was sentenced to 50 years in jail by a court in Thailand for Facebook comments deemed to have defamed the monarchy on Jan. 18, 2024.

Two other activists who advocated for reforms to the monarchy were sentenced to jail under the Lese Majeste law in January 2024.

Top image via Move Forward Party/YouTube and LinkedIn