The Constitutional Court may suspend Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat if it agrees to hear the case involving his media share ownership, says Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.
The Election Commission (EC) has begun its probe into whether Mr Pita, who is the party's list-MP and prime minister candidate, was eligible to run in the election due to his alleged holding of 42,000 shares in a media company.
The constitution prohibits electoral candidates from holding stakes in media companies.
Mr Wissanu said the EC might endorse Mr Pita as a list-MP while the probe is underway, and if the EC rules in Mr Pita's favour, the case is closed. However, if the poll agency rules against him, the case will be brought to the Constitutional Court, which may suspend Mr Pita pending its decision.
The EC can investigate the complaint before or after the election results are officially announced.
The deputy prime minister cited as an example the case against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, former leader of the now-dissolved Future Forward Party (FFP), who was accused of violating the share-holding rule.
The court voted to suspend Mr Thanathorn as an MP when accepting the case against him in May 2019.
Mr Thanathorn was then nominated as prime minister for a vote in parliament in June while the ruling was handed down in November of that year.
When asked about the intent of the share-holding rule, Mr Wissanu said the matter is decided by the Constitutional Court, adding that the charter does not address the size of shares or a media company.
However, he noted that previous court rulings on similar share-holding violation claims against electoral candidates might be used to predict the outcome of the case against Mr Pita.
Meanwhile, political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, who sought the EC probe into Mr Pita's share-holding, on Monday gave a statement to the EC on the case and submitted the previous Constitutional Court rulings on holding shares to the poll agency.