11 July 2024

Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn says that Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat may be in even deeper trouble after the Election Commission (EC) decided unanimously on Friday to dismiss three separate complaints questioning his qualification to contest the May 14th election.

The EC, instead, decided to initiate its own probe, in accordance with Section 151 of the MP Election Act, as they think it is “evident” that Pita registered his party-list candidacy while allegedly knowing that he was not qualified to contest the poll.

Somchai said that the EC’s approach could land Pita in more trouble, because the commission could take the case to the police, then the prosecutors and the Criminal Court, without taking the case to the Constitutional Court, if they can prove that he was aware that he was not qualified when he registered as a candidate.

If found guilty by the Criminal Court, Somchai said Pita may face a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine of up to 200,000 baht and could be banned from politics for 20 years.

Although the EC has refused to consider the three complaints, the former election commissioner said that at least 50 MPs, 25 senators or the EC itself can raise the issue with the Constitutional Court, in an effort to disqualify Pita as an MP and negate his quest for the prime minister’s post.