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Thai court disqualifies rising opposition party leader as MP

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Thai court disqualifies rising opposition party leader as MP
FILE PHOTO: Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party, speaks during a news conference at his party headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha   -   Copyright  ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA(Reuters)
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BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday disqualified the leader of an opposition party and fierce government critic from parliament after finding him guilty of violating election law.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, 40, the leader of the Future Forward Party, was found guilty of holding shares in a media company after registering his candidacy for an election earlier this year to formally end five years of military rule.

Thanathorn is a strong opponent of the army’s role in politics and his new party came in a surprise third in the March election.

Future Forward is part of an opposition alliance that disputed the vote count and accused the army of writing the electoral rules to ensure that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the former military junta leader, would remain in power.

(Reporting by Saowanee Ekpunyacha; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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