pita limjaroenrat found not guilty of violating election law

But the legal troubles for Pita Limjaroenrat, who was blocked by the military junta from becoming prime minister, are far from over.

Pita Limjaroenrat, the popular politician who was blocked from becoming Thailand’s prime minister, cleared a legal hurdle on Wednesday after the country’s Constitutional Court found that he was not guilty of violating election law, allowing him to be reinstated as a lawmaker.

But Mr. Pita’s legal troubles are far from over — he and his political party, the Move Forward Party, are accused of violating the country’s constitution because they have called to weaken a notoriously harsh law that criminalizes criticism of the Thai monarchy. A decision against them could lead to a ban on Mr. Pita from politics and the dissolution of the party.

Mr. Pita and his party stunned Thailand’s royalist-military establishment last year by winning first place in the general election, as voters sent a clear signal that they wanted an end to nearly a decade of military rule. But the establishment prevailed in preventing Mr. Pita from becoming the prime minister, using legal maneuvers that his supporters say were part of a broader effort to roll back the results of the election.

On Wednesday afternoon, after the verdict was read out, supporters of Mr. Pita who had gathered outside the Constitutional Court broke out in cheers and chanted repeatedly: “Prime Minister Pita!”

“Thank you for all your encouragement. Stepping forward to work, no more waiting!” Mr. Pita said in a post on X, the social media website.

The ruling on Wednesday settled a case that Mr. Pita had called “intentional political persecution.” He had been accused of running afoul of a law that prohibits candidates for public office from holding shares in media companies.

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