11 July 2024

Pita Limjaroenrat, the former leader of the Move Forward party, says that he is ready for a political comeback, after the Constitutional Court cleared him today of charges related to his ownership of iTV shares.

“I remain a prime ministerial candidate, in accordance with the constitution. So, if anything happens, I am always ready, willing and able to lead this country forward,” Pita told the media after the court’s decision was published.

The Constitutional Court ruled that iTV can no longer be classified as a media business, since it ceased operations as a media company in 2007. Furthermore, it has not held a broadcasting license since its dispute with the prime minister’s office.

Therefore, Pita’s ownership of 42,000 iTV shares when he registered as a candidate in last year’s general election did not violate the charter, as alleged by the Election Commission.

Article 98 of the Constitution prohibits owners of or shareholders in newspapers or other media businesses from registering as candidates in parliamentary elections.

Cheers from his supporters were heard during Pita’s interview with the media in front of the court building.

When asked how he was feeling, Pita said, “I feel alright and regular, like any other typical working day. In my mind, I am contemplating the next steps, specifically the strategic roadmap of the Move Forward party.”

“I’ll be hosting foreign visitors tomorrow and then, over the weekend, I’ll be visiting the north. So, that’s pretty much on my mind right now,” he added.

Pita expressed his intention to return to parliament as soon as possible, but acknowledged that there is a process to complete, for which he must wait.

He played down reports suggesting that he will return as Move Forward’s leader, explaining that the matter is yet to be discussed.

After Pita stepped down from the leadership of the party, Chaithawat Tulathon was elected to replace him. The present executive committee’s tenure will end in April and the election of a new one will follow, Pita said.

by Anisha Satya and Charinya Limprapuwiwattana