EC Demands Further Evidence for Pita’s iTV Share Allegations

The Election Commission (EC) has announced that further evidence and statements are necessary to investigate the allegations surrounding the eligibility of Move Forward Party (MFP) leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, in relation to his ownership of iTV Plc shares.

Accusations have been leveled at Mr. Pita, the sole prime ministerial nominee for the MFP. The accusations suggest that Mr. Pita’s eligibility to participate in the election may be compromised.

This is due to his possession of 42,000 shares in iTV, a company suspected by some critics to have been an operational media enterprise when he registered his previous election candidacy.

In response to these allegations, Mr. Pita clarified that he was merely the executor of family inherited shares.

Thitichet Nuchanart, an EC member, mentioned that they would invite iTV executives and Mr. Pita for a discussion.

Mr. Thitichet further added that the EC intends to investigate further evidence relating to the accusations, which includes the record of iTV’s most recent shareholder meeting and the minutes of that meeting.

A disparity between the official minutes of the shareholders meeting and a video from the April 26 event has further escalated the controversy around Mr. Pita’s alleged ineligibility and iTV’s standing as an operational media company.

Mr. Thitichet also stated that additional data concerning Mr. Pita’s asset declaration submitted to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will also be required for the EC’s investigation.

On a related note, Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a political activist and member of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), mentioned that he has lodged a fresh petition with the EC.

He requests the EC to execute its responsibility defined in Section 82 of the constitution as soon as feasible.

He stated the responsibility in question is to consult the Constitutional Court for interpretation of Mr. Pita’s MP status considering his shareholding in iTV.

In a related development, the permanent secretary of the PM’s Office, Teerapong Wongsiwawilas, rejected news reports claiming that the office was trying to divert public attention to its legal battle with iTV.

This rejection comes at a time when the company is embroiled in the media shareholding controversy.

Mr. Teerapong noted that the verdict of the Supreme Administrative Court on a case that the PM’s Office filed against iTV regarding unpaid concession fees 10 years ago is unknown to anyone.

He further added that the last interaction with the case from the office happened two years ago.