Bangkok: Thailand’s Constitutional Court suspended Prime Ministerial candidate and leader of the Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat as an MP pending a ruling on his disqualification case submitted by the Election Commission.
The court’s decision came after it received a complaint filed by the Commission that the 42-year-old Harvard graduate and former tech executive owned shares in a media company at the time of registering his election candidacy for the May 14 election, which violates electoral rules, reports Xinhua news agency.
In a shock election result, Pita’s newcomer party won the most seats and largest share of the popular vote as citizens rejected the conservative military rule that had been in place since the 2014 coup.
The court had filed a second complaint against him that involved Move Forward’s proposal to amend the draconian royal defamation law, which has jailed hundreds of critics of the monarchy.
Meanwhile, Pita has denied he broke election rules and a statement from Move Forward accused the Election Commission of rushing the case to court. On July 11, outgoing Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha had announced his retirement from politics after leading the Southeast Asian nation for nine years.
Prayut was elected Prime Minister in 2019, a win largely credited to a military-drafted constitution that entrenched the army’s power in politics.