Thailand's Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit shakes hands with supporters at the party's headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Thailand's Constitutional Court acquitted the country's third-biggest political party of seeking the overthrow of the country's constitutional monarchy. The court ruled Tuesday that the Future Forward Party showed no intention of committing the offense, and that the complaint had not been filed according to the correct legal procedure. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thai court orders popular opposition party dissolved

February 21, 2020 - 4:05 am

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's Constitutional Court on Friday ordered the popular opposition Future Forward Party dissolved, declaring that it violated election law by accepting a loan from its leader.

The court also imposed a 10-year ban on the party's executive members holding political office.

The ruling against the party comes just ahead of a no-confidence debate in parliament set to begin Monday against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and several of his Cabinet members. The party has been an irritant to the government and the conservative forces in Thai society that back it, because of both its reformist positions and its popularity.

The party placed a strong and surprising third in a general election last March and currently holds 76 seats in Thailand's House of Representatives.

It was founded in March 2018 as Thailand was heading toward an election after a period of military rule that began with a 2014 coup.

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