Ruangkrai files challenge to Pita's eligibility for office
text size

Ruangkrai files challenge to Pita's eligibility for office

Not related to media shareholding row, says petitioner

Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat takes a selfie with MFP supporters. (File photo)
Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat takes a selfie with MFP supporters. (File photo)

Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana on Tuesday submitted documents to the Election Commission affirming his contention Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat's ownership of media shares meant he was ineligible when he registered to run for election.

Mr Ruangkrai's move came after the EC on June 9 threw out all complaints related to media share ownership against the MFP leader and prime ministerial candidate, but he will instead investigate whether Mr Pita applied to be a list-MP candidate despite knowing he might not have been eligible.

EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong on Monday said that, with information available, a committee would be set up to further investigate whether Mr Pita violated Section 42 (3) and Section 151 of the law on the election of MPs.

Under Section 151, those who apply to run in an election while knowing they are not qualified or prohibited from doing so are liable to a prison term of one to 20 years and a fine of 20,000-200,000 baht. They are also banned from running in an election for 20 years.

Under the current constitution, individuals with media holdings are barred from running for political office.

Mr Ruangkrai said he had submitted more documents to the EC, affirming that Mr Pita had violated Section 151.

They included Mr Pita's Facebook post to clarify his iTV shareholding and a report on Mr Pita's transfer of his iTV shares to relatives on May 25.

Also submitted to the EC were the minutes of the online meeting of iTV shareholders on April 26 which contained a question from a shareholder about iTV's business and the answer from a company executive that iTV was a media outlet, and video of the same meeting which showed him giving a contradictory reply.

Mr Ruangkrai said the minutes of the meeting and the video had nothing to do with his earlier petition about Mr Pita's media shareholding.

He also submitted to the EC documents on iTV's plans to continue operating a media business after its contract with the Prime Minister's Office was terminated. He said the company's financial statement for the first quarter of 2023 stated that it ran a media business from February 2023 and revenue from the business would be known in the second quarter.

Mr Ruangkrai said he was not worried about opponents' claims he used false documents in filing the petition against Mr Pita.

He said once the EC endorses Mr Pita's election, he would again submit a petition seeking Mr Pita's removal under Section 82 of the constitution.

Section 82 states that at least 50 members of the House of Representatives, or 25 members of the Senate, can submit a petition seeking a Constitutional Court ruling on whether an MP held a seat in violation of the constitution.

Ruangkrai Leekitwattana.

Do you like the content of this article?