The outcome of a probe into Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat's alleged ineligibility to contest the elections will not impact his approval of MFP election candidates, according to a former election official.
Pol Col Jarungvith Phumma, former secretary-general of the Election Commission (EC), wrote on his Facebook a hypothetical case about "Nitra" who faced the same allegation as Mr Pita.
Nitra, in his capacity as the leader of a registered political party, endorsed the party election candidates while at the same time, he contested the election in the party-list system and was nominated as the party's prime minister candidate.
After the election, he was accused of holding shares in Utv, a media firm, violating the election law. The court subsequently found that he held the shares for five years before the election and ruled him ineligible to run for the House.
According to Pol Col Jarungvith, despite being found not qualified to contest the polls, Nitra's status as the party leader, who endorsed the party election candidates, was not affected by the court's ruling. Moreover, the law governing political parties does not prohibit the leader of a political party from owning a media firm or holding shares in this business, he wrote.
The former EC secretary-general's post comes amid concerns over the fate of MFP election candidates since Mr Pita, a party-list candidate, is facing scrutiny for allegedly holding 42,000 shares in iTV, an independent broadcaster founded in the 1990s.
An election candidate is constitutionally barred from contesting an election if he or she owns stakes in a media company. Questions are being raised if the case would void Mr Pita's endorsement of party candidates and force a new election.
Mr Pita said on Friday he has yet to be contacted by the EC to explain the issue of the shares. He insisted there was nothing to be concerned about and the case would not affect the formation of the MFP-led coalition government.
He also said he was confident the matter would not lead to a new election.
Political activist Ekachai Hongkangwan called on the EC on Friday to endorse the election result and speed up its probe into the share-holding claim against Mr Pita.
Asked about the possibility of MFP supporters taking to the streets if Mr Pita is disqualified, he said the EC could face pressure if the agency is deemed dragging its feet or issuing an unfair ruling in Mr Pita's case.
He said it's right for people to voice their opinions and for MFP supporters to take to the streets if the person whom 14 million voted for is disqualified.
Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Constitution, on Friday handed over what he said was evidence to the EC to support the claim that Mr Pita owns the shares and that the media firm is still operating.
He said the EC should not rush the case but instead gather all the facts and evidence before deciding.
"The agency may endorse Mr Pita as an MP, but when it decides on the case, it should also refer the case to the Constitutional Court for a final ruling," he said.