Constitutional Court reminded to use the same standard with 41 government MPs accused of holding media shares

Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul has reminded the Constitutional Court to apply the same standard, used against his party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and two opposition candidates, to the 41 pro-government MPs accused of holding media shares.

MPs from opposition parties have demanded that the Constitutional Court suspend the 41 MPs in the same way it suspended Thanathorn and candidates Phubet Henlot and Komsan Sriwanit.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Piyabutr explained that, in the cases of Messrs. Phubet and Komsan, the charter court set the precedent that mentioning of media business in a company’s memorandum of association was enough to indicate that the company intended to operate a media business, even though, in actuality, it did not. He maintained that the Constitutional Court should suspend the 41 pro-government MPs even though their companies did not actually operate a media business.

The former law professor at Thammasat University also cited two other relevant cases, one concerning Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and the other concerning four cabinet members.

In the case of Mr. Don, he said it took the Election Commission 386 days to wrap up the case and send it to the charter court and it took another 70 days to rule that Mr. Don was not in error regarding his assets declaration.

As for the case of the four ministers, he said the EC took 355 days to prepare the case and send it to the charter court which took another 75 days to rule that there was no need for them to stop working.

In Thanathorn’s case, however, Piyabutr pointed said the EC spent only 51 days concluding the case and sending it to the Constitution Court, which then took just 7 days to suspend him from performing his duty as an MP.

The Palang Pracharat party has asked the court not to suspend its MPs, claiming that they are performing duties for public benefit.

Piyabutr said that Thanathorn also did his job for public benefit and, yet, the court suspended him, adding that he would wait and see whether the court would apply the same standard to all 41 pro-government MPs, including 27 Palang Pracharat MPs.


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