Pita will ‘fight tooth and nail’ for party’s survival

Opposition leader and former prime ministerial hopeful said his Move Forward Party will “fight tooth and nail” for its future amid legal threats that could see the pro-reform group dissolved and its leaders banned from politics.

Pita Limjaroenrat, who led the Move Forward party to an election victory last May on an anti-establishment platform but was unable to form a government, said the party could be the bridge to create a new political consensus in the country.

“Instead of looking at us as a choice of the people and the enemy of the parliament, use us as a bridge,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Pita’s Move Forward Party could be disbanded and leaders banned from politics after the country’s Constitutional Court last month said their plan to change a law on insulting the monarchy undermined the crown, paving the way for legal complaints.

The party’s liberal agenda and huge appeal among young and urban voters is seen to represent a threat to the status quo in Thailand, colliding with the interests of powerful conservatives and the royalist military that blocked Move Forward’s attempt to form a government last year.

Move Forward’s predecessor, Future Forward was disbanded in 2020 for violating campaign funding rules.

“I feel like it’s vicious cycle,” the 42-year-old said. “We keep going around in circles and we never move forward.”

The party has a succession plan with a pipeline of talent to broaden its political footprint even if it is dissolved, he said.

“They can never take away our legacy,” Pita said. “They can never take away our ideology.” — Reuters

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