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Another activist lobbies Election Commission to rule out Pita PM bid

PHOTO: Facebook/Pita Limjaroenrat - พิธา ลิ้มเจริญรัตน์

The campaign to prevent Pita Limjaroenrat becoming Thailand’s next PM continues, with another activist petitioning the Election Commission. Nopparuj Worachitwutthikul has called on the EC to request a ruling from the Constitutional Court on whether or not the Move Forward leader was qualified to run in the May 14 general election.

Nopparuj is the former leader of the White Pigeons, an anti-2006 coup group, according to a Nation Thailand report. The activist says he’s giving the EC until June 28 to send the matter of Pita’s eligibility to the Constitutional Court. Nopparuj says if the issue of Pita’s alleged holding of shares in a media company has not been referred to the court by then, he will petition MPs and senators to demand a ruling.

The activist insists Pita was not eligible to run in the recent election due to his shareholding in ITV media, which Nopparuj says is still an actively operating firm, despite reports to the contrary. His claims echo those of fellow conservative activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, who has petitioned the EC to disqualify Pita for the same reason.

The EC has already rejected Ruangkrai’s complaint but has opened its own investigation into whether or not the Move Forward leader violated Article 151 of the MPs Election Act, by registering as an election candidate while knowing he wasn’t qualified. This would be a criminal charge, requiring the Criminal Court, not the Constitutional Court, to rule on the matter.

Back to Nopparuj, who says if the matter is not referred to the Constitutional Court, the controversy surrounding Pita will not go away and will cause problems if his name is later submitted to His Majesty the King for royal appointment as Thailand’s new PM.

For his part, Pita has disposed of the shares, which he says were only in his name as the executor of his late father’s estate. The Move Forward leader has also pointed out that ITV has not been operational as a media firm since 2007.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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