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A group of pro-democracy activists have demanded that the Election Commission (EC) certify the results of the 14 May general election by 20 June and dismiss the complaint against Move Forward Party leader and prime minister candidate Pita Limjaroenrat over iTV shares because it is no longer a media provider.

Somyot Pruksakasemsuk (second from left) and Thanaporn Wichan (third from left) at the Election Commission office.

The activist groups 24 June Democracy and the Labour Network for People’s Rights went to the EC office at the Government Complex on Chaeng Wattana Road yesterday (8 June) to submit a letter demanding that the EC certify the results of the 14 May general election by 20 June, instead of by the original timeline of 13 July.

The letter said that not certifying the results delays the opening of parliament and the vote for prime minister, as well as allowing the acting government under Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to stay in power. It would also allow undemocratic and unconstitutional powers to interfere with the process and sabotage the formation of a government by the winning party.

Activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk said that there is no reason for the EC not to certify the results or to wait until 13 July. He said that certifying the results would mean that parliament can open, a government can be formed, and a prime minister voted for as required by law, and that if the EC found any case of election fraud, they can forward it to the Constitutional Court or the Supreme Court’s Criminal Case Division for Persons Holding Political Positions.

Labour rights activist Thanaporn Wichan said that activists have been sending the EC open letters and petitions before the election, and they were making another demand because the EC is not doing its job, which is certifying the results, but instead has been taking complaints meant to sabotage a democratic government.

“Today we have given them enough time, and I think that, by 20 June, the EC must announce the election results, so that government formation and the parliament session to vote for prime minister can go ahead according to the democratic process,” Thanaporn said.

The activists also called on the EC to dismiss the iTV shares complaint against Pita. Somyot said that the public is well aware that iTV is no longer a working media provider, and so there is no reason for Pita to be disqualified for holding shares in the company. It is also clear that Pita has not been holding the shares since the foundation of iTV, Somyot said, but received the shares as inheritance from his father and has transferred the shares to other beneficiaries. The number of shares is too small for Pita to be controlling the company to begin with, and therefore there is no reason for the EC to consider the complaint.

Somyot said that the filing and acceptance of the complaint could be seen as something done with ill intention and an attempt to destroy democracy. The EC’s decision on whether to accept a complaint could be seen as taking sides and being subservient to the 2014 military coup.

“If the EC accepts this complaint and does not announce the [election] results, we see that the EC is working to serve the military dictatorship. The EC is serving the people who appointed it, who are the 250 senators, and the 250 senators are working to serve the old powers, Prawit and Prayut, who people no longer want to hold political office,” Somyot said.

Somyot said that if the EC accepts the complaint against Pita, it could lead to a political crisis and mass demonstrations, because voters did not only go to the polls but are also aware of their own rights to freedom and democracy, and it would be their right to protest to protect democracy and to prevent their vote from going to a minority dictatorial government.

He said that the people would be at a disadvantage if government formation is delayed, since it would also delay the process of solving their problems, and the activists will return on 20 June to follow up on what the EC is doing.

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