Thai court dissolves key pro-democracy party
Bangkok: A stridently anti-military Thai party was dissolved Friday and its key members banned from politics for a decade over a $6 million loan by its billionaire founder, a withering blow to the kingdom’s pro-democracy movement.
The ruling could edge the politically febrile kingdom — whose economy is shrinking — closer to the street protests that have scored much of the last 15 years of Thai history.
The Future Forward Party (FFP), fronted by the charismatic auto-parts scion Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, emerged from nowhere in March last year to become Thailand’s third biggest party in the first elections since a 2014 coup.
The party’s radical agenda — calling for full democracy, an end to conscription and the removal of the army from politics and business — won it 6.3 million votes and pitched it against the powerful, conservative military. – AFP