Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat says he does not think there is a campaign of political persecution against him, because if there were it would be costly.
The prime ministerial candidate of the election-winning MFP was responding on Wednesday to news that the Election Commission had asked the Constitutional Court to confirm its finding that his past shareholding in iTV Plc made him unqualified to be an MP.
Mr Pita said that despite the EC’s resolution, his morale was still high and he was ready to proceed with efforts to assume the premiership and form his coalition government.
He said he did not think parliamentarians would cite the EC issue as an excuse to not vote for him on Thursday.
The media-shares case brought by the EC is not the only legal hurdle he and his party face, however. The Constitutional Court on Wednesday also accepted a complaint by an activist lawyer that by proposing to amend the lese-majeste law, Move Forward was threatening to overthrow the entire democratic system.
Mr Pita complained that he was not given a chance to defend his MP status with the EC. He said he was ready to do so with the Constitutional Court.
“The (EC) consideration of my case took only 32 days. It may be the fastest process in history. … My case took 32 days and was then filed with the Constitutional Court one day before the prime ministerial vote,” he said.
“I wish it is not political persecution. … Otherwise, persecution of me would only be costly for the mechanism of the civil service, national administration and benchmarks for politicians.
“It would be a pity to block me and the Move Forward Party, which represent the voice of the people who cast their votes two months ago. We’re their hope,” Mr Pita said.
He acknowledged that supporters’ concerns about his case had given rise to rallies on Wednesday and more are planned on Thursday, but he did not think such gatherings would be problematic.
“Frustration will do no good in terms of what we want to do. What is important and what is great must always take time and be difficult. I think the situation will be manageable,” Mr Pita said.
He said he would go to parliament on Thursday and express his vision as the prime ministerial candidate in the hope of persuading MPs and senators to vote for him.
The vote for prime minister is scheduled to take place at 5pm, following six hours set aside for discussion and debate.
There is a chance that the court on Thursday will suspend Mr Pita as an MP while it looks into the EC case. But even if that happens, he would still be able to stand as a prime ministerial candidate.
The Move Forward Party itself sent out a tweet on Wednesday encouraging all supporters to wear orange and show the party logo on Thursday in support of Mr Pita and the eight-party coalition he aims to lead.
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