Rising Thai political star faces fresh legal woes | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 04, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:30 AM, April 04, 2019

Rising Thai political star faces fresh legal woes

The telegenic leader of a Thai political party who rode to prominence during last month's election on a wave of millennial support stands accused of inciting unrest, he said yesterday, calling his latest legal woes "politically motivated" by the junta.

Billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit heads up the youth-oriented Future Forward Party, which came out of nowhere to amass more than six million votes in the March 24 vote, the first since a 2014 coup.

Future Forward has joined an anti-junta coalition with six other parties claiming the right to form a government in the aftermath of the disputed vote whose full results will not be ratified until May 9.

But the tycoon said on Facebook he has now been summoned to appear at a Bangkok police station on Saturday to hear incitement charges against him that carry a maximum sentence of seven years.

He wrote on the Facebook page, where he posted the summons, the move was "an old political game" that he expected to intensify after the party's strong election showing.

Speaking to reporters later Wednesday, Thanathorn hit back at the junta government, which filed the complaint.

"It is not the Future Forward Party which causes divisiveness of the people but the military who wants to hold on to power," he said.

"I am calling for a restoration of democracy in Thailand... these cases are politically motivated."

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