Political gadfly expands complaint against Pita to entire coalition

The self-described activist also demanded that the Election Commission dissolve Move Forward and the seven other political parties in the coalition aiming to form the next government.

The Nation

The Nation



May 25, 2023

BANGKOK – Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, who describes himself as an activist, on Wednesday submitted more documents to the Election Commission (EC) that he alleged support his allegation that Move Forward Party leader Pita was ineligible to contest the election because he allegedly held shares in a media company.

Ruangkrai also demanded that the Election Commission dissolve Move Forward and seven other political parties that it is forming a coalition with to form the next government.

On May 9, Ruangkrai filed a complaint with the EC, alleging that Pita held 42,000 shares in ITV Plc.

Pita dismissed the initial complaint as “nonsense”.

Ruangkrai previously said that Article 98 (3) of the Constitution prohibits owners or shareholders of media firms from running in national elections.

On Wednesday Ruangkrai told reporters that he submitted a list of ITV shareholders for the past 18 years along with its financial reports during the period.

Ruangkrai said the new documents clearly demonstrate that the TV station is indeed a media firm.

Ruangkrai also said that the eight political parties in the process of forming a governing coalition violated Article 38 of the Political Parties Act, which does not allow parties to allow interference by outsiders.

The eight parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on May 22 to form a coalition government.

By signing the MoU each of the political parties allowed seven other parties to interfere in them, Ruangkrai alleged.

Moreover, he said, he has examined Move Forward’s charter and found nothing in it that gave its leader the right to sign the May 22 MoU.

It is up to the EC to decide whether or not the eight political parties violated the Political Parties Act, Ruangkrai conceded.

While Ruangkrai was speaking to reporters at the EC he was interrupted by Waranchai Chokechana, another self-declared activist.

Waranchai Chokechana stood behind Ruangkrai and raised a banner in support of Pita and shouted phrases supporting the Move Forward leader.

Thai-language media reports often portray Ruangkrai, and his complaints, as entertainment.

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