Thailand: Court to probe 32 government MPs’ shares

  • On 26 Jun 19, the Constitutional Court accepted petitions against 32 of the 41 government MPs who are accused by the opposition of breaching the charter’s rule on shareholdings in media firms, but did not suspend the MPs from their duties.
  • However, the court rejected petitions against nine others, saying the judges found no grounds for the accusations, according to the court after a three-hour meeting. The 32 MPs have 15 days to submit their defence to the court.
  • But the petitioners did not present documents showing the business operations of companies or partnerships nor the submission forms of financial statements which might show what business the companies gain an income from. In light of this, it was not clear what business the 32 MPs operated, and the court will have to investigate further, the court said.
  • There are no grounds for suspending the 32 MPs from their duties at this stage, the court said. But in Mr Thanathorn’s case, the Election Commission (EC) launched a probe and found there were grounds to the accusation against him before forwarding the case to the court, the court said.
  • Regarding the petitions against the nine MPs which were thrown out by the court, the court said checks had found their companies ran businesses selling paper, newspapers, stationery, books, teaching aids, printing equipment, and office equipment, among others, and have nothing to do with the media or publishing.

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