The Election Commission (EC) of Thailand has extended its investigation into Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party and a prime ministerial candidate, regarding his eligibility to run in elections. The decision comes after accusations that Pita knowingly registered for a parliamentary seat despite being ineligible under Article 151 of the MP Election Act. This ineligibility stems from his ownership of shares in the now-defunct iTV media company.
According to EC Secretary-General Sawang Boonmee, the investigation has been extended for an additional 15 days, starting from July 4.
Additionally, the EC has forwarded information regarding the Move Forward Party’s policy advocating for the amendment or abolition of Section 112 of the criminal code, commonly known as the lese majeste law, to the Attorney General. The EC seeks clarification on whether this policy violates any legal regulations or norms, as it has been a contentious issue.
Previously, the registrar of political parties rejected a petition filed against Move Forward Party concerning this policy. The registrar stated that there was insufficient evidence or information to suggest any actions that would pose a threat to the monarchy, which is a fundamental institution under the democratic system. Despite this, the EC has decided to conduct further investigation to determine if the accused actions may infringe upon other legal provisions.
The EC’s decision was prompted by an order from the Constitutional Court, requesting the Attorney General to provide clarification on this matter in accordance with Article 49 of the Constitution. This article specifically addresses threats to the royal institution.