Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat has resigned from his post within the party, which is now preparing to name a successor to take his place as opposition leader.
The 43-year-old announced his resignation via his socials today.
“I have decided to step down from the position of the Move Forward Party leader to allow the party to choose an MP who can serve as the “leader of the opposition” in parliament in my place,” the statement read.
Pita clarified he is unable to fulfill his leadership role while under the order of the Constitutional Court, which suspends him from performing his duties in the House of Representatives while under investigation. After consulting with party members, it was decided that a new leader should be chosen to help start the crucial reforms the party desires.
“Currently, I am still under the order of the Constitutional Court that suspended my duties as an MP, so I am unable to work in the House of Representatives and cannot assume the role of opposition leader in the near future,” his statement read.
Despite this, he ended his resignation on a good note, reassuring his audience that he will continue to work closely with the party and advocate for change.
The former leader also announced a rally will be held for all Move Forward Party members later this month on Sept. 24 at the Keelawes Building in Din Daeng.
Pita’s resignation comes a day after TIME Magazine included him in the “TIME100 Next 2023” list of emerging leaders who will help shape the future of the world.
After receiving praise and generating attention for winning an election against military top dogs in May, Pita was disqualified later in July during his bid to become prime minister, which required votes by both the House of Representatives and senate. After failing to secure enough votes in his first attempt, the Move Forward Party and Pita again tried to sway enough senate votes in a second round. While the second round of voting was underway, Pita was suspended by the Constitutional Court from performing any duties as a member of parliament due to, according to the Election Commission, having shares of a now-defunct media company, ITV Public Co.
The constitution bans any person holding shares “in any newspaper or mass media business” from standing for election to the House of Representatives. Pita said the shares in ITV Public Co. were in his name as the court-appointed administrator on behalf of other relatives named as heirs of his father, who died in 2006. He had sold his shares after his party had won the May elections but was told by the Election Commission he could be still disqualified.
In the aftermath of his disqualification, the Pheu Thai Party, which was previously allied with Move Forward, broke off their previous coalition agreement and formed a new coalition government with pro-regime parties.
Last month, Pheu Thai successfully elevated one of its key members, real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin, to become Thailand’s 30th prime minister.
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