11 July 2024

The Constitutional Court has cleared the former leader of the Move Forward party, Pita Limjaroenrat, of the charge that he contested in last year’s election while holding shares in a media company.

The Court ruled that iTV is no longer a media business; therefore, Pita’s holding of shares in iTV did not violate the Constitution and the electoral law.

This means that Pita will retain his MP seat and the ruling paves the way for him to make a political comeback after he was suspended from performing his legislative duties since last July.

Speaking shortly before the ruling, Pita said if he was cleared from the charge he would consult with House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha as to when he should resume his MP’s duties.

The political drama against Pita, who was the prime ministerial candidate of Move Forward Party, started in May last year when the Election Commission accused him of holding 42,000 shares in iTV Plc, which is registered as media business,  when he filed his candidacy in the election.

Article 98 of the Constitution states that owners or share-holders of newspapers or other media businesses are prohibited from being candidates in House elections

The EC put forward the case to the Constitutional Court, which later agreed to consider the case and ordered a temporary suspension of Pita from parliament.

In his defence, Pita insisted that iTV was no longer active as a media business and that the shares he was holding were inherited from his father and that he was only acting as their manager.

He also argued that the amount of his iTV shares was negligible and did not give him control over its operation.