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BANGKOK 16 June 2019 03:40
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Thanathorn’s self-defence can help or hurt politics

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Thanathorn’s self-defence can help or hurt politics

By The Nation

 

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As long as the Future Forward leader stays focused on proving his innocence rather than attacking his accusers, society as a whole can benefit

 

Politically, Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit seems to have a slight edge. Relentless attempts to dig into his current or past ownership of shares can be seen as a conspiracy to nip a rising star in the bud. His massive fan-base is unhappy about it, and he can count on foreign support. Additionally, no matter what happens legally, he will remain in a strong position to shake up his opponents.

 

Legally, it looks like he’s constantly on the back foot. Fresh allegations and questions keep coming about his previous statements on share 

ownership, and now the Constitution Court is involved. Thanathorn and his party have dealt with some allegations, but others remain hanging in the air.

 

It’s imperative that Thanathorn clear the doubts for his own good and for the long-term good of Thai politics in general. Whether there is a conspiracy involved or not, he needs to prove that he’s not a typical politician who counterattacks accusers rather than providing solid, unambiguous proof of innocence.

 

There have been numerous examples of how vague self-defence damages politics broadly. In fact, what Thanathorn is determined to change – the incessant meddling of the military – is rooted in politicians’ failure to adequately defend themselves against accusations of dishonesty. Rather than showing undeniable proof of innocence, they choose to play victims, with predictable harm done to public trust.

 

Charges against Thanathorn began trivially enough. He was said to have registered his election candidacy while still holding shares in a media company.

 

As a result, his candidacy was at stake. It was a shock at the time but seems minor now. Thanathorn’s defence strategy, though, has elevated the affair beyond a simple question of costly oversight versus criminal act. He insisted that the shares were transferred to his mother before he registered for the March 24 election. His accusers are seeking to poke holes in his story, and if they succeed, he could be portrayed as a liar – or worse.

 

His supporters won’t care, of course. In their eyes, he is being politically persecuted, pushed against the ropes and forced to do whatever it takes to survive. The problem is that his opponents see precisely the opposite and he could end up another massively divisive figure.

 

He is already causing divisiveness on a grand scale. But so far it has been strictly political because he has not been found guilty of anything. There are those who don’t like what he’d done and said in the past, even though he’s surely entitled to his ideological beliefs. His detractors are clashing with his admirers, who like his boldness and determination to effect political change.

 

Such disagreement is normal, but such matters become much more complicated when legal action comes into play. When people clash over legal matters, essential social and political fabric can be torn or weakened. Thailand has gone through enough of this misery and it can do without another major legal controversy. 

 

We hope Thanathorn will continue fighting accumulating charges and produce clear-cut evidence in his defence, remaining focused on proving his innocence rather than turning the attack on his enemies. If he can do this, his legal strategy will remain sound, since the judicial system deals in facts, not public sentiment. Moreover – and probably more importantly – that would benefit Thai politics in the long run.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30369672

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

As long as the Future Forward leader stays focused on proving his innocence rather than attacking his accusers, society as a whole can benefit

this discussion evades the central point, guilt (trumped up or not) or innocence; if he is found guilty how does that help society ?

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I keep hearing from many he the "the future" but if he belatedly transferred the shares to his MUM then how is he different from any other self serving Thai supposed politician. May as well have signed them over to the maid or the driver.

 

They are all "elites" on all sides of this. 

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The statement at the FCCT that “someone” phoned his mum offering to drop charges if he sent 20 of his MPs to the slaughter didn’t help, should’ve kept that quiet unless he has solid proof, it’s blown up in his face now with the junta seeking legal action.... if it was a ‘set up’ he took the bait too easily.

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1 hour ago, YetAnother said:

this discussion evades the central point, guilt (trumped up or not) or innocence; if he is found guilty how does that help society ?

My twist, I wish he and his team would pay more attention to these points that could easily derail them. 

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32 minutes ago, Orton Rd said:

He does not have to prove his innocence, those out to stop him have to prove otherwise

Yes but there are certain groups who will play these 'negative' points / keep these 'negative' points in the news as long as they can, all hoping to damage his position and image.

 

And the unfortunate reality is that even if ultimately proved innocent some of the mud will stick. 

 

 

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The loan to the FFP may be his undoing, reportedly in the region of B100 - 250 million. Reminiscent of another wealthy man buying himself a political party.

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1 hour ago, MRToMRT said:

I keep hearing from many he the "the future" but if he belatedly transferred the shares to his MUM then how is he different from any other self serving Thai supposed politician. May as well have signed them over to the maid or the driver.

 

They are all "elites" on all sides of this. 

And more importantly, they are all THAI (and elites). 

 

No substantive difference among them is likely, other than what clan or tribe they fight for.

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Yes but let's see if the Junta loving party is disbanded by having a convicted ex-politician who with prison time, who spent time on their campaign trail talking in public at a rally, was not a member of their party as is band from politics, but was so called in one introduction to be their leader which is against the rules and misleading. Let's see if this is true and if this is pushed and moved forward. I only heard of this complaint once about a week ago and now see nothing more of it.

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5 hours ago, Srikcir said:

to wake up an electorate drawn unconscious by decades of human rights abuse.

 

The Mask of Anarchy  Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

"Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.

And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there;
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
What they like, that let them do.

With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay,
Till their rage has died away:

Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:

Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!"

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