Former MFP leader Pita faces court drama over media scandal

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

The former leader of the Move Forward party (MFP), Pita Limjaroenrat, is gearing up for a courtroom showdown to defend himself against allegations involving a media scandal.

Former MFP leader Pita has declared his readiness to face the Constitutional Court next Wednesday, December 20. The political maverick is set to battle allegations that he held shares in the now-defunct iTV media outlet during the May 14 general election.

Pita, the advisory chairman of MFP revealed that he will meticulously review the final draft of his written statement today. Expressing confidence in his innocence, he asserted that he believes he did nothing wrong and anticipates being exonerated from the accusations levelled against him by political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana.

Ruangkrai, who lodged a petition with the Election Commission, contends that the former MFP leader, at the time of candidacy registration, possessed 42,000 iTV shares—a purported breach of the Constitution. The constitutional prohibition explicitly bars individuals with shares in a media company from participating in elections.

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In response to the recent Corrections Department’s regulation allowing convicts in good standing to be detained outside prison, Pita weighed in on suspicions regarding its connection to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Dismissing claims that the regulation was tailored for Thaksin’s benefit, he pointed out that the rule was conceptualised three years ago, long before Thaksin’s unexpected return to Thailand after 15 years of exile, reported Thai PBS World.

Regarding the Democrat Party’s potential inclusion in the coalition government under new leadership led by Chalermchai Srion, Pita remained tight-lipped. However, he steadfastly asserted MFP’s dominance in the House, reiterating the Party’s commitment to its opposition role. The ex-MFP leader emphasised a constructive approach.

“Move Forward aims to be a constructive opposition party, which does not just focus on trying to topple the government.”

Amid swirling speculations about Srettha Thavisin’s possible replacement by Paetongtarn Shinawatra next year, Pita urged patience. Advocating for giving the current prime minister more time to showcase his abilities, the former MFP leader suggested that adjusting policy directions would be a more fitting course of action rather than a premature change in leadership.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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