Pita cleared in first round of media shareholding enquiry


The Election Commission (EC)’s investigation committee on Monday resolved that the election watchdog should dismiss an appeal against Move Forward leader and PM candidate Pita Limjaroenrat regarding his holding of shares of iTV Plc, a news source reported.

In July, the EC ordered a probe against Pita after political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana filed a complaint that he was not qualified to run in the election as he held 42,000 shares in media company, iTV.

Ruangkrai alleged that iTV was still an active media firm. The Constitution bars a person holding shares in a media company from running in an election.

The source said that the EC’s investigation committee found that iTV was not active nor had any earnings from the media business during the MP application period of April 4-7, therefore the appeal should be dismissed.

The committee will forward its decision to the EC’s subcommittee for consideration, of the appeal, which will later propose its decision to election commissioners to make a final decision.

The source estimated that the subcommittee may soon invite Pita to clarify the allegation before they made a decision, which could contradict that of the investigation committee.

Pita is battling legal woes after he had failed in his bid to secure the majority votes of the parliament to become Thailand’s 30th prime minister.

The Constitutional Court is also processing a suit against Pita and Move Forward Party for proposing to amend section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code or lèse-majesté law.