In a significant development, the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases is considering a lawsuit filed by Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party, against the Election Commission (EC) of Thailand. The lawsuit accuses the EC of unjustly targeting him, resulting in damage to his reputation.
A verdict on whether the case will be officially heard is expected on August 9 at 9:30 a.m. The lawsuit names EC Chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong, all five election commissioners, and EC Secretary-General Sawang Boonmee as the implicated officials.
The legal representative of Pita, Yongyut Saokaewsatit, states that all seven EC officials are accused of negligence of official duties and misconduct under Section 157 of the Criminal Code. If found guilty, this could potentially lead to the impeachment of all seven officials.
The case stems from the EC’s decision to escalate an ineligibility case related to Pita’s prior holding of 42,000 shares in iTV Plc to the Constitutional Court. Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana lodged a complaint, accusing Limjaroenrat of being ineligible to compete in the election due to his stake in a media company.
Pita had already served a full term as an MP following his victory in the 2019 General Election, during which the EC raised no concerns about his eligibility. However, they hurriedly investigated the case and forwarded it to the court just before the recent parliamentary vote to elect the country’s new prime minister, where Pita was the sole nominee.
The move has been interpreted as an attempt to smear Pita’s image and tarnish his reputation. These facts form part of the evidence supporting the failure of the seven EC officials to fulfill their duty, according to Pita’s lawyer.
In related developments, Bhumjaithai Party MP Jakkrit Thongsri from Buri Ram declared ownership of 40,000 shares in iTV to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) along with other assets valued at 84.42 million baht at the end of his prior MP tenure.
Today, Pita was suspended from his role as an elected member of the House of Representatives by the Constitutional Court.