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Election agency justifies its decision to send Pita’s case to charter court

(The Nation) -- The Election Commission (EC) is only performing its duties in filing the case against Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat in the Constitutional Court as stipulated by the 2017 Constitution, the election agency said in a statement on Thursday.


On Wednesday, the EC resolved to petition the Constitutional Court seeking the disqualification of Pita as an MP for holding 42,000 shares in media firm, iTV Plc, when he filed his papers to run in the May 14 election.
Pita said he felt that he had not been treated fairly by the EC because its investigative panel had never summoned him and given him a chance to explain his position. He also said the EC “appeared to have speeded up the iTV shareholding probe against him ahead of the PM vote on Thursday”.
Pita needs to win a total of at least 376 votes from 500 MPs and 250 senators when Parliament convenes on Thursday to elect Thailand’s 30th prime minister.
In the statement, the EC cited Section 82 paragraph 4 of the Constitution, which says: “In a case where the Election Commission is of the opinion that the membership of any member of the House of Representatives or any senator has terminated under paragraph one, it may also refer the matter to the Constitutional Court for a decision.”
The EC added that it was not obligated by law to notify an MP or senator whose membership could be terminated because of its decision, as the person can exercise their right to explain their position and present evidence to the court.
The EC also denied that it had expedited the probe against Pita, saying it was not its duty to deliberate on a case. “Our duty is to gather all the evidence and submit it for the court’s consideration,” it said. “We have done so by exercising caution at every step and have used an appropriate amount of time, without speeding up or skipping any procedures.”

(Latest Update July 14, 2023)

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