An alleged attempt to strip Pita Limcharoenrat’s legitimacy as a prime ministerial candidate, using the accusation of holding iTV shares, was exposed yesterday by reporter Thapanee Eadsrichai. The Move Forward Party (MFP) suggests there has been a coordinated plot to disqualify the MFP leader by reinstating iTV's status as a media organization, using allegedly fabricated minutes from the annual shareholder meeting of iTV Public Company in April.
The minutes, which state that iTV is still operating as a media business, were used by Palang Pracharath's Ruengkrai Leekijwattana as important evidence in his complaint to the Election Commission (EC) regarding Pita's shareholding. But the minutes are inconsistent with what was said during the meeting on May 10. A video clip obtained by Thapanee reveals the discrepancy between the minutes and the statements made in the meeting.
In the allegedly fabricated minutes, when shareholder Panuwat Kwanyuen asked the chair of the meeting, Kim Siritaweechai, whether iTV is still operating in the media sector, the response recorded in the minutes was, "Currently, the company is still operating according to the objectives of the company, and financial statements and corporate income tax returns have been submitted as usual."
However, the video shows that Kim's actual response was, "Currently, the company has no operations.”
Thapanee reported that the file of the minutes that Ruangkrai used as evidence had been deleted, but an anonymous source who attended the meeting had backed up the document after sensing something was off. The document and video evidence were then sent to Thapanee.
The MFP wrote a Facebook post suspecting foul play by its opponents, with Chaitawat Tulaton, Secretary-General of the Party, suggesting that this move is a coordinated scheme to disqualify Pita from the prime ministerial candidacy.
Chaitawat noted that Nick Sangsirinavin, a former candidate of the Future Forward Party turned Bhumjaithai Party candidate, posted a message on his Facebook page two days before the iTVshareholders' meeting, stating that politicians holding shares in iTV should prepare to attend the shareholders' meeting and present themselves to the EC. Nick also mentioned a party leader holding 42,000 shares, referring to Pita.
Chaitawat also suspects that there was a plan for Panuwat, who received a transfer of shares in iTV from Nick, to ask questions at the iTV shareholders' meeting regarding whether the company still engages in media operations.
Chaitawat raised the question of whether the minutes of the shareholders' meeting were falsely reported.
"It is unlikely that the alteration of the minutes was an accidentalmistake or normal practice in preparing meeting reports. When the public becomes aware of this, can it be understood that this was an intentional change to align with various documents that were subsequently altered?" Chaitawat asked.