By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT today (July 12) accepted a petition filed against prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat and his Move Forward Party on charges of conspiring to undermine rule by pushing for amendment to the lese majeste law.
However, Pita and the Move Forward are allowed by court to defend themselves by submitting bona fide documents in 15 days’ time from today.
The prime minister-designate and his progressive party have been accused by their political opponents of seeking to undermine the country’s rule under which the monarch acts as head of state by proposing amendment to the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code.
But Pita and his partisan colleagues have repeatedly insisted that they were looking to amend the draconian lese majeste law with good intentions to uphold and protect the constitutional monarchy from being politically exploited, foster close, lasting relations between the monarchy and people, reduce the maximum 15-year jail term for convicts, have all detained suspects promptly released under bail pending court verdicts and leave the business of filing lese majeste lawsuits against any suspected offenders to the Royal Household Bureau as the only legitimate party.
The Move Forward rank and file have openly pledged to work on the campaign policy to amend the lese majeste law when they become government following the May 14 election.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court also accepted an MP-disqualifying lawsuit filed by the Election Commission against the Move Forward leader on a charge of holding a tiny fragment of 0.0035% shares of non-operating ITV channel.
Nonetheless, the commissioners had not given Pita a chance to defend himself by otherwise testifying before a fact-finding committee of the polling agency which had finally filed the case against him to the Constitutional Court.
The Move Forward delivered a note of protest against the commissioners, saying legal action may be taken sooner or later against them on duty-negligence and misconduct charges.
The legal actions have been concertedly taken against Pita just a day ahead of a joint House/Senate session to pick a prime minister, scheduled for tomorrow.
Top: Move Forward leader/prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat with the Constitutional Court logo on his left. Photo: Thai Rath
Front Page: Move Forward leader/prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat with his party’s logo on his right. Photo: Matichon