A hugely controversial and sensitive subject, it has long been held as an untouchable in Thai politics. Even opposition rivals Pheu Thai said they would leave the issue to parliament.
But Pita has not shied from it, telling reporters late Sunday that “no matter what, we will push for royal lese majeste law reform”.
The father of one is considered a political heartthrob, inspiring pop-star levels of hysteria from his supporters.
Educated in New Zealand and the United States, he studied at Harvard on an international scholarship, before going on to become an entrepreneur.
However, following his father’s death when he was 25, Pita returned home to run his family’s heavily-in-debt business Agrifood, turning its fortunes around. He later became executive director of transport and delivery app Grab Thailand.
In 2012 he married Thai TV actress Chutima Teepanat, and they have a seven-year-old daughter. The marriage broke down in 2019.
His daughter has featured prominently in the campaign with Pita bringing her on stage after speeches, much to the crowds’ delight.
Online, he has utilised a public “personal” account – followed by almost one million users – to share images of him and his daughter wearing matching t-shirts and eating ice cream together.
But despite the success at the ballot box, there is no indication his path to prime minister will be straightforward.
He must now cobble a coalition together to surpass government-appointed senators who elect Thailand’s PM from among eligible candidates.