A group of demonstrators on Thursday demanded the Election Commission dismiss all complaints against Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat and endorse official election results as soon as possible to pave the way for his government.
About 50 members of the June 24 Democracy group showed up at the office of the EC at the government complex on Chaeng Watthana Road on Thursday afternoon to voice their demands.
Their leader, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, said they wanted the EC to endorse the results of the May 14 polls immediately.
“As the EC has not verified 95% of the MP vote results, the opening of the House is delayed and the parliament cannot convene to elect the prime minister,” said Mr Somyot, who spent seven years in prison after being convicted of lese-majeste and defamation.
“This lets Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the caretaker prime minister and defence minister, head the government and remain in power.”
Attempts to block Mr Pita and the party that received overwhelming voter support from forming a government has resulted in an “ongoing political crisis”, Mr Somyot said. Move Forward Party received 14.44 million votes in the party-list poll, far ahead of second-place Pheu Thai with 10.96 million.
Mr Somyot’s group said the EC should not accept any of the complaints filed in connection with Mr Pita’s small shareholding in iTV Plc; otherwise, there could be mass demonstrations, he said.
The constitution prohibits a shareholder of a media organisation from running as an MP in a general election. iTV has not been actively involved in any kind of media business for more than 15 years.
“If the EC accepts the complaints for consideration, it will demonstrate its connection with coupmakers,” said Mr Somyot, noting that the EC was appointed by senators who in turn were installed by Gen Prayut and his allies.
Mr Pita held a very small amount of iTV shares and would be unable to influence the business in any way even if it was still involved in media, said Mr Somyot.
“Such petitions and their acceptance will be considered as ill intentioned and the destruction of democracy,” he added.
Mr Pita earlier admitted he had 42,000 shares in iTV but said he held them as the manager of his late father’s estate and had since transferred the shares to other people.
Mr Somyot also demanded that the EC endorse 95% of the MPs-elect, thus making the election official, by June 20 or as soon as possible. He said his group would return to the EC on June 20 if it did not see any progress.
The EC has said that it it is confident that it will be able to endorse the results more quickly than it did after the 2019 polls.
Under the law, the EC has 60 days from Election Day, or until July 13, to certify at least 95% of all MPs-elect to make the vote results official. In 2019, it completed this task on May 8, or 45 days after polling day. This year, the 45-day mark would fall on June 28.