March 18, 2019
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Thai election body dismisses lawsuit against Future Forward Party

Bangkok, Mar 14 (efe-epa).- The Thai Election Commission Thursday dismissed a lawsuit against the newly-formed political party Anakot Mai (the Future Forward Party), which still faces two other complaints ahead of the upcoming elections on Mar. 24.

The dismissed suit was presented on Mar. 6 by activist Srisuwan Janya, who had claimed that the party's leader, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had submitted a false resume on the party's website.

In a statement, the Election commission said that during a meeting on Wednesday it "revised the petition and found that there is not enough evidence to make such an accusation against Thanathorn. For that reason, the commission has come to a conclusion to drop this matter."

According to Juangroongruangkit's biography on Anakot Mai's website, he had served as the president of the Federation of Thai Industries for two terms, a mistake that the party claimed to have corrected in a matter of hours.

The Anakot Mai was founded in Mar. 2018 and from the beginning its position has been against the military junta, its involvement in political affairs.

The party also advocates abolishing conscription and slashing the military budget drastically.

The party is especially popular among younger voters and, according to an official survey conducted in February, it has the the backing of 13.86 percent of the more than seven million first time voters.

However, judicial harassment of Anakot Mai might jeopardize its chances of winning a parliamentary representation.

The party leader also faces a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Computer Crimes Act, filed on behalf of the military junta for criticizing it last year in a video post on Facebook.

The Thai prosecution will decide whether to file charges against the party or not on Mar. 26 two days after the election.

Anakot Mai spokesperson, Pongsakorn Rodchompoo, has also been accused of violating the same law for having shared on his Facebook account an alleged fake news about the junta, although he claimed to have deleted it a few minutes after realizing its inauthenticity.

Thailand is set to hold elections after nearly five years of rule by the military junta, following a May 2014 coup.

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