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The Election Commission (EC) has rejected a complaint filed against Move Forward party’s Pita Limjaroenrat over iTV shares and several other complaints against the party, but will launch an investigation to see if Pita has applied to run as MP knowing he is not qualified.


Last Friday (9 June), the EC unanimously voted to reject a complaint filed against Pita over the 42,000 iTV shares he inherited from his father on the grounds that the complaint was filed after the time allowed for complaints to be filed against MP candidates had lapsed.

However, the EC said that there is enough evidence for it to investigate further whether Pita was not qualified to run as an MP candidate and whether he ran in the election despite knowing this, and it will form an investigation committee to handle the case.

According to the Organic Act on the Election of Members of the House of Representatives, shareholders in a media company are not allowed to run as MP candidates. Section 151 of the Organic Act says that anyone who runs as an MP candidate knowing that they are not qualified may be sentenced to 1 – 10 years in prison and a fine of 20,000 – 200,000 baht. They will also be prohibited from running in an election for 20 years.

Chamnan Chanruang, former Deputy Leader of the now-dissolved Future Forward Party, wrote that charges under Section 151 of the Organic Act are under the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice, not the Constitutional Court. The EC will therefore have to file a complaint with an inquiry officer after it completes its investigation. The case will then be forwarded to the public prosecutor and then be adjudicated by up to three courts. Chamnan believes that the case will take a long time before it reaches its final verdict and parliament’s term might have ended before then.

Meanwhile, Professor Attachak Sattayanurak of Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Humanities published an open letter speculating that the EC decided to investigate Pita for charges under Section 151 to avoid comparisons with other media shares cases, and that the EC will rule that it is Pita’s fault alone so as to mitigate any opposition and make it legitimate for them to punish him.  

Attachak noted that proving whether Pita knows if he is qualified or not depends on whether iTV is still a media provider in the public eye. If the EC does not prove this clearly and in a way that is acceptable to the public and rushes to rule on the case, he wrote, it will have to pay.

On Sunday (11 June), Thai News Agency (TNA) reported that, according to EC Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee, the EC has dismissed several complaints filed against the Move Forward Party, including a complaint that the party is trying to repeal the royal defamation law and another complaint that the party allowed former Future Forward members Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Pannika Wanich to control the party by campaigning and attending debates as its representatives.

Sawaeng said that the complaints, which call for the party’s dissolution, were dismissed due to lack of evidence. TNA reported that, of the 83 complaints filed for dissolution of political parties between 2020 - 2023, 61 have been dismissed for lack of evidence. Around 5 – 6 complaints are still being processed by the EC.

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