A young progressive political party is not conspiring to overthrow the monarchy, judges ruled Tuesday, after one of the world’s oldest conspiracy theories leaped from the internet and into one of Thailand’s highest courts.
The Constitutional Court dismissed charges that the Future Forward Party intends to overthrow the “democratic regime with the king as the head of the state,” citing a lack of evidence.
The court was widely expected to throw out the outlandish case which sought to link the progress party to the so-called “Illuminati,” a dated, antisemitic conspiracy theory that is only taken seriously in the most rabid corners of the internet.
บรรยากาศที่สำนักงานใหญ่พรรคอนาคตใหม่ หลังศาลรัฐธรรมนูญอ่านคำวินิจฉัยคดี #อิลลูมินาติ ล้มล้างการปกครอง โดยเห็นว่าคำร้องไม่มีหลักฐานและข้อเท็จจริงเพียงพอ จึงไม่ยุบพรรค #อนาคตใหม่ ตามคำร้อง pic.twitter.com/rlyv1DcLzZ
— พรรคอนาคตใหม่ (@FWPthailand) January 21, 2020
Still, observers consider the party’s days numbered with the court likely to rule against the party in another case with a slightly less absurd basis.
The Illuminati sedition case was brought by lawyer Natthaporn Toprayoon, who said the party’s orange triangle logo was in fact a reference to a symbol attributed to an 18th century “secret society” ruling the world.
Party representatives were not present at the court but watched a live broadcast at its headquarters at Thai Summit Tower.
The party, which came out of nowhere to win the third highest number of seats in parliament, is dedicated to removing the military’s grip on society and is perceived as a threat by the status quo.
It is wildly popular among the younger generation of Thais.
Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit faces a separate case involving money he loaned to finance the party’s operations. If the party is dissolved, it would become the latest opposition party popular with wide swathes of society to be dismantled by the court.
This is a developing story and may be updated without notice.