Future Forward Party
Future Forward Party, a new progressive political party led by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a famous millionaire, ran an online poll regarding military conscription in Thailand. From 24-31 December 2018, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit posted an opinion poll on his facebook page with a message: You can choose. #FutureForwardParty proposes a military reform policy for a modern army. End conscription, have a voluntary armed force except during wartime, cut the military establishment by half to 170,000, reduce the number of generals from 1,600 to 400.
With the ban on parties engaging in political activity still in place, a group of pro-junta politicians is forming a political coalition to support junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha in the upcoming general elections. The coalition will target the Northeast, the stronghold of the Pheu Thai party.
While the confronting political ideologies in western countries are the left and the right, their counterparts in Thai politics are moral politics and the politics of economic inequality. These ideologies will be represented through political parties in the upcoming election. In the 2018 elections, policies will not and cannot be a decisive factor since politicians have to conform to the NCPO’s National Strategic Plan which provides a policy framework that future governments have to follow for the next 20 years.
With all the talk about a “new” political party of the “new generation”, it is worth comparing what little we know of this party with Taksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party which was formed after the 1997 economic crisis. The reason for this is that Taksin and his team used the slogan “New Thinking, New Implementation” in their first election campaign.
The recent announcement by a key leader of the Future Forward Party (FFP) that he would not press the issue of amending the l?se majest? law in the new party, has sparked a political debate on whether the politician is making a strategic move or retreating from his liberal stance. The newly-established FFP has continued to incite controversy after Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, one of the party’s most prominent members, announced on Facebook that he would not use the new party as a political tool to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the l?se majest? law
This past 15 March, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul led 26 people from the new generation to register the Future Forward Party at the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT). The founding members of the Future Forward Party at a press conference on 15 March 2018
The newly established Future Forward Party (FFP) has been heavily criticised for its lack of political experience, and its left-leaning orientation, with lots of talk of a social welfare state and inclusive society. On 15 March 2018, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Executive Vice President of the Thai Summit Group, hosted a press conference to launch a new party, Anakhot Mai, literally translated as ‘new future’, but whose official English name is the Future Forward Party.