Media shareholding tit-for-tat continues

Media shareholding tit-for-tat continues

MPs of the Palang Pracharath Party file their petition against 33 opposition MPs with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai at the headquarters of TOT Plc in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Aekarach Sattaburuth)
MPs of the Palang Pracharath Party file their petition against 33 opposition MPs with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai at the headquarters of TOT Plc in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo by Aekarach Sattaburuth)

Some government MPs have asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the qualifications of 33 opposition MPs, mostly those from the Future Forward Party (FFP), for alleged media shareholding.

Tosapol Pengsom, a Palang Pracharath (PPRP) MP for Nonthaburi, said on Thursday that he and some other PPRP MPs had sent the petition to the Constitutional Court, asking it to rule whether they held shares in companies registered for media business. The petition targeted 21 FFP MPs, four MPs each from the Pheu Thai Party and the Puea Chat Party, three MPs of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, and one of the Prachachart Party.

They sent the petition through House Speaker Chuan Leekpai on Thursday.

The PPRP's move followed the decision of the Constitutional Court on Wednesday to accept a similar petition from FFP to check the qualifications of 32 government MPs for alleged shareholding in media firms. It did not suspend them from performing MP duties.

FFP came up with its petition after the court accepted a similar case againt FFP leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Mr Thanathorn, however, was suspended from performing MP duties.

The court explained unlike in Mr Thanathorn's case, it did not suspend 32 government MPs because the case against them came directly to the court through the Parliament president without being screened by any agency or supplied with enough evidence. Mr Thanathorn's case, on the other hand, had been reviewed by a panel set up by the Election Commission and based on the evidence on hand, there was enough ground for the suspension, the court said in a statement.  

Section 98(3) of the constitution prohibits shareholders of media firms from applying to be MPs.


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