Four recent petitions along with a request to dissolve the Move Forward Party (MFP) have been dismissed as groundless and no reason for dissolution by the Election Commission (EC), according to a source.
The dismissal of the petitions to dissolve the MFP was made while the eight-party coalition led by the MFP goes about forming a new government.
Election Commission (EC) secretary-general Sawaeng Boonmee, in his capacity as the registrar of political parties, did not agree that on March 5 Padipat Suntiphada, the MFP candidate in Constituency 1 of Phitsanulok, had contravened EC regulation 17 by mentioning the royal institution, said the source.
The petitions also dealt with the MFP's desire to amend or abolish Section 112 of the Criminal Code, better known as the lese majeste law, said the source.
Sawaeng: 'No merit to accusations'
Alleged manipulation by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Pannikar Wanich, the leader and the spokeswoman of the Progressive Movement respectively who advise the party but are both considered outsiders, was also cited as an alleged violation of the organic law on political parties, said the source.
Although the EC's latest decision appears to be good news for the party, analysts and legal experts say that's not the end of the party's problems.
Jade Donavanik, a legal scholar and former adviser to a constitution drafting committee, said the EC's planned inquiry into MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat's alleged violation of Section 151 of the organic law on the election of MPs, for instance, will likely bring both advantages and disadvantages to the party.
As the Section 151 matter will have to be forwarded to the court as a criminal case, the EC will have the burden of proving Mr Pita had violated the law, while Mr Pita will have to defend his innocence, said Mr Jade.
Asked to assess evidence shown by Mr Pita pertaining to his holding of shares in iTV Plc as reported by the media, Mr Jade said the chance of Mr Pita winning the case is still fifty-fifty.
In a Facebook post, Mr Pita on Sunday said: "I've tried my best…What about you?" The new post was accompanied by his old message posted on Facebook on June 24, 2021 in which he described Thailand as being in a legal war.
Senator Seree Suwanpanont, in his capacity as chairman of the Senate's committee on political development and public participation, said the EC has failed to state clearly what will happen next if it finds Mr Pita guilty.
At a meeting of the Senate committee scheduled for June 20, the committee will review the EC's order regarding its inquiry against Mr Pita and discuss it in detail, he said.
On Friday, the EC decided to conduct the inquiry over whether Mr Pita had applied as a list-MP candidate despite knowing he may not have been eligible to run for a House seat.
On the same day, the EC dismissed all petitions asking it to probe whether Mr Pita's holding of iTV shares made him ineligible to contest the election in the first place, reasoning they were lodged after the qualifications of election candidates were examined. This has upset some of the party's critics.
Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, meanwhile, said he will formally appeal against the EC's decision to dismiss his petition.
He said he lodged his complaint with the election regulator on May 10 and still believes a petition about the suspected ineligibility of Mr Pita could still be submitted even after the EC endorses Mr Pita as an MP.
More importantly, he said, the EC is responsible for forwarding the matter to the Constitutional Court.
Mr Ruangkrai said he has solid evidence to prove that Mr Pita has held 42,000 iTV shares since 2008 which made him ineligible to contest the election.
He also accused the EC of failing to answer several questions he raised about Mr Pita's alleged ineligibility in the rejected petition and is now determined to seek a definite answer.