Activist tells EC to approach charter court in Pita’s ITV shareholding case
A political activist on Thursday called on the Election Commission (EC) to request a ruling by the Constitutional Court on allegations that Move Forward Party leader and prime minister candidate Pita Limjaroen was not qualified to contest the election.
Nopparuj Worachitwutthikul, a former leader of an anti-2006 coup group, said he would give the EC until June 28 to send Pita’s alleged ITV shareholding case to the Constitutional Court or he would campaign for MPs and senators to seek the ruling.
Nopparut, whose White Pigeons group campaigned against the 2006 coup makers, said he believed Pita was not qualified to contest the May 14 election because he held shares in ITV, which Nopparut said was an active media firm.
Last month, another activist, Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, asked the EC to disqualify Pita as an election candidate for allegedly holding 42,000 shares in ITV Plc.
But the EC has dismissed the complaint, saying Pita has been endorsed as a qualified candidate. However, the EC ordered a probe on whether Pita had violated Article 151 of the MPs election act by applying as an election candidate despite knowing that he was not qualified.
Investigation under Article 151 is a criminal charge probe that requires the Criminal Court’s ruling, not a ruling by the Constitutional Court.
However, Nopparut said that all the criteria for sending the case to the Constitutional Court were met so the case should be sent to the charter court without further delay.
Nopparut said a person having just one share in a media firm could not contest an election but Pita was holding 42,000 shares. He added that the Business Development Department affirmed that ITV was still an active firm.
Nopparut said if the case was not sent to the Constitutional Court, the issue would not end and it would cause a controversy if Pita’s name was later sent to the His Majesty the King for royal appointment as the next prime minister.
He said if the EC refused to send the case to the Constitutional Court by Juen 28, he would meet senators Somchai Sawaengkarn and Seri Suwanphanon to seek their support in gathering signatures of senators to send the matter to the court for a ruling.
Pita has said he was holding the shares in his capacity as the executor of his father’s estate and that ITV was no longer a media firm.