Ruangkrai submits more evidence to EC seeking Pita's disqualification
Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana on Tuesday submitted more evidence to the Election Commission (EC) to back his allegations that Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat was not qualified to contest the May 14 election.
A former EC commissioner, meanwhile, expressed apprehensions that a plot was being hatched to eliminate Pita from the political arena by using election organic laws as tools.
Ruangkrai submitted his document to the EC Office in the morning and told reporters that he had come to provide more evidence related to his allegations that Pita was not qualified to contest the election because the Move Forward leader allegedly held shares in ITV, which the activist alleged was an active media firm.
Ruangkrai said the evidence included Pita’s own Facebook post last week. In the post, Pita claimed he was the assets executor for heirs of his father and he did not own the shares himself.
Ruangkrai said he had simply carried out his duty as a complainant for righteousness in the country without harbouring prejudice against Pita. He said he neither knew about nor was he part of an alleged conspiracy against the Move Forward leader.
Ruangkrai said when he found useful information, he handed it over to the EC.
Ruangkrai stuck to his guns that ITV was still an active media firm and that Pita had held the shares until he transferred the 42,000 shares to other heirs of his father on May 25.
Ruangkrai noted that the shares were transferred to other heirs on May 25, which meant that Pita had held the shares when he submitted his application as Move Forward’s party-list candidate in early April.
Ruangkrai said he had also informed the EC that although the minutes of the ITV shareholders’ meeting on April 26 contradicted the audio clip of the board chairman maintaining it was not in the media business, it was not related to his complaint against Pita. He said his complaint focused on allegations that Pita had held the shares before registering his candidacy and that ITV was a media company.
The minutes of the ITV meeting stated that the chairman of the meeting had admitted ITV was a media firm, but in an audio clip from the meeting, the chairman said ITV was not in the media business.
Ruangkrai said he also reminded the EC that the mission of ITV Plc was to carry out media business and its financial report for the first quarter this year showed it had resumed its media business in February this year with an expectation of realising revenue in the second quarter.
On Friday, the EC rejected the call for an investigation into whether Pita was qualified to be an MP candidate, saying the EC had already endorsed the candidacy.
However, the EC ordered a probe into whether Pita had violated Article 151 of the MPs election act by applying to be a Move Forward party-list candidate despite knowing he was not qualified due to his holding of shares in a media company.
“My complaint against Pita was not a conspiracy to resurrect the [ITV] ghost. I’m not a voodoo doctor. I did this all alone. I have a duty to file complaints,” Ruangkrai said.
On Monday, Alongkorn Ponlaboot, a former Democrat MP, made a Facebook post, saying he believed the EC would dismiss the case after 45 days of investigation.
Alongkorn argued that Pita was the executor of the fund left by his father for all the heirs after the father’s death and Pita himself had forfeited his right to the legacy since 2007.
“So, I believe the EC will end the ITV share probe within 30 or 45 days,” Alongkorn posted.
Also on Monday, EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong said the election agency would take into account the contradiction between the audio clip and minutes of the shareholder meeting when it deliberates on the Article 151 probe against Pita.
Meanwhile, Somchai Srisutthiyakorn, a former EC commissioner, said that there appeared to be a plot to try to block Pita from rising to executive power.
“It’s normal that one will have both supporters and opponents when one seeks ruling power. The opponents will seek ways to block the person from being successful by using both rules and dirty tactics,” Somchai said.
“This is happening to all, not only to Pita. People can think for themselves whether this is a preconceived plot or not.”