EC seeks more evidence on Pita iTV-share claims

EC seeks more evidence on Pita iTV-share claims

Pita: To be invited for questioning
Pita: To be invited for questioning

The Election Commission (EC) said it needs more evidence and statements to investigate Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat's alleged ineligibility to contest the election linked with his holding of iTV Plc shares.

Mr Pita, also the MFP's sole prime ministerial candidate, stands accused of being ineligible to contest the election because he held 42,000 shares in iTV, which is believed by some critics to be a running media company when he registered his candidacy in the past election.

Mr Pita has denied the allegation, saying he only served as executor of the family's inherited shares.

EC member Thitichet Nuchanart said the EC would invite iTV executives and Mr Pita for questioning.

Mr Thitichet said the EC would also examine more evidence related to the claims, including the record of iTV's latest shareholder meeting and the meeting's transcribed minutes.

A discrepancy between the official minutes from the shareholders meeting and a video of the April 26 event has created further controversy about Mr Pita's alleged ineligibility and iTV's status as a running media company.

More information regarding Mr Pita's assets declaration made with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will also be needed for the EC's investigation, said Mr Thitichet.

Meanwhile, political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) member, said he had filed a new petition with the EC asking it to perform its duty stipulated in Section 82 of the constitution as soon as possible. He said the duty in question is to seek the Constitutional Court's interpretation of Mr Pita's MP status considering his iTV shareholding.

In related news, Teerapong Wongsiwawilas, permanent secretary of the PM's Office, dismissed media reports that the office was attempting to draw the public's attention to its legal dispute with iTV during a time when the company is at the centre of the media shareholding controversy.

Mr Teerapong said no one knows when the Supreme Administrative Court will hand down its ruling on a case that the PM's Office filed against iTV over unpaid concession fees 10 years ago.

The last time the office touched the case was two years ago, he added.

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