February 22nd, 2024

Thai court says popular politician Pita Limjaroenrat didn’t violate law, can remain a lawmaker

By The Associated Press on January 24, 2024.

FILE - Former leader of Move Forward Party Pita Limjaroenrat talks to The Associated Press during an interview at Parliament in Bangkok, Thailand on Jan. 11, 2024. Thailand's Constitutional Court is set to decide Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 whether popular politician Pita, who was blocked from becoming prime minister, should now lose his seat in Parliament. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)

BANGKOK (AP) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that popular politician Pita Limjaroenrat, who was blocked from becoming prime minister even though his party placed first in last year’s election, did not violate the election law and can retain his seat in Parliament.

Pita had been suspended from Parliament pending the court ruling on whether he violated the law by owning shares in a media company. He was the executor of his father’s estate which includes stock in ITV, a company that is the inactive operator of a defunct independent television station.

The court agreed with Pita’s contention that ITV was not an operator of a media business.

By law, political candidates are prohibited from owning shares in any media company when they register to contest an election.

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