Pita's fate at the mercy of the Constitutional Court

The Election Commission has submitted a petition under the Section 82 of the Constitution, asking the Constitutional Court to decide the iTV share case of Move Forward Party leader Pita Limcharoenrat. 

The constitutional court has already accepted the EC petition, along with another petition to determine whether Pita's election campaign to amend section 112 of the penal code is against the constitution or not. 

The EC had also ordered the Prime Minister candidate to stop working. Even though the decision won't affect Pita's candidacy during the voting for Prime Minister tomorrow, many speculated that some members of the Senate--many of whom still haven't expressed their clear stance on whether they are going to vote for Pita or not--will exploit the incident to justify their decisions to refrain from voting for Pita during tomorrow's vote. 

Though the situation is dim, the coalition leaders corroborate that there is no contingent plan for the PM candidate. Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew asserted that the party will not change its course and is determined to nominate Pita as the sole PM candidate.

The rushed decision is met with criticism, and the MFP believes that Pita is being treated unfairly with the EC working in a pick-and-choose manner. 

The party's secretary-general Chaitawat Tulaton held a press conference to remonstrate with the EC's decision, arguing that the EC did not follow the procedure prescribed in the Election Commission Regulation concerning Investigation, Inquiry, and Adjudication (2561 B.E.) which dictates that the EC must follow all preceding procedures including the clarification of allegations.  

Chaitawat added that the EC's action may violate section 157 of the penal code which is wrongful exercise of duties.  

"Do not abuse power beyond limits. When politics return to normalcy, the people will punish you," he warned.

Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, one of the party's founders, said that the EC seemed to unfairly rush the timeframe, citing incidents in the past when the EC was dragging its feet on cases against figures from the previous government, such as a case against ex-foreign minister Don Pramudwinai which took the EC 386 days to submit the petition and 70 days for the constitutional court to accept the petition.

He stipulated that the current situation seems similar to when the case of the Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was expedited in 2019 and took the EC 51 days to submit the petition with the court taking 7 days to accept the petition.

Various pro-democracy groups have expressed their discontent about the EC's decision and organised activities to express their disapproval both in Bangkok and other provinces such as Sakhon Nakhon and Ayutthaya.

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