Pita unlikely to be suspended before Thursday, as court not yet able to mull over ITV case
Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat may still be able to contest for the PM’s post on Thursday as the Constitutional Court cannot pick up the petition filed by the Election Commission on Wednesday.
A high-level source at the charter court said Pita’s ITV shareholding case will be picked up for deliberation by the court at the next meeting. The court meets every Wednesday.
The EC decided on Wednesday to call on the Constitutional Court to disqualify Pita as Move Forward party-list MP over allegations that he held 42,000 shares in the now-defunct media company ITV Plc when he applied to contest in the May 14 election.
The petition also asked the court to suspend Pita from duty until the court issues a verdict.
After the resolution, EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong signed the petition and sent it to court immediately.
If the court suspends Pita from duty as MP, he will be barred from attending the joint House and Senate meeting on Thursday as an MP. The joint sitting is being held to elect Thailand’s 30th prime minister.
However, legal experts say Pita can still attend the meeting as Move Forward PM candidate. Still, his presence is expected to draw a lot of protests from his opponents
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court source said the EC petition will first have to be screened by the court to see if it is legal. If the court considers it legal, then the petition will be sent to a sub-committee to see if it should be accepted for judicial review.
The sub-committee will then forward its decision to the court to make a final decision before deliberation can begin.
According to the source, the court already has some issues on its agenda for this week’s meeting.
If Pita fails to be elected in the first round of voting on Thursday, he may be blocked from entering the race in the second round of voting on July 19, as he may have been suspended by then.