Thai Prime Minister Prayuth can continue in office, court rules

Friday, 30 September 2022 - 15:24

Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ruled that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha can continue in office and that he had not surpassed his maximum eight-year term limit as premier.

The court, in a 25-minute reading of the verdict on Friday, said Prayuth’s tenure as prime minister should be counted from 2017, when a new constitution was promulgated.

The decision will be a boost for Prayuth, a staunch royalist whose premiership has been beset by attempts to unseat him, including four house censure motions, a conflict of interest case and major protests challenging his leadership and the monarchy.

Prayuth, 68, had been suspended from office while the court deliberated the case.

The Pheu Thai party and a government spokesperson did not immediately respond to separate requests for comment on Friday’s ruling.

Prayuth’s critics had argued that his time in office should be calculated from 2014, when he took power as army commander in the aftermath of a coup that removed Thailand’s elected Pheu Thai party government.

Supporters of Prayuth had maintained that his term in office should be calculated from at least 2017, or from when Prayuth took office after his election as a civilian prime minister in 2019.

In a surprise move, Prayuth was suspended as prime minister in August by the Constitutional Court, which had accepted a petition from Thailand’s political opposition calling for it to rule on whether the premier had exhausted his time in office.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has served as Thailand’s caretaker premier since Prayuth’s suspension.

Prawit and Prayuth are former army commanders and were comrades in arms for decades. Prawit is widely expected to become prime minister if the court rules against Prayuth.

Merchandise exports earnings exceed USD 11 billion in 10 months
Tuesday, 29 November 2022 - 16:02

Earnings from merchandise exports have exceeded $11 bn from January to October 2022, indicating a growth of 9.33% in comparison to the same period in 2021:... Read More

President Ranil Wickremesinghe prepared to re-introduce District Development Councils
Tuesday, 29 November 2022 - 15:58

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has announced that he is prepared to re-introduce District Development Councils.President Wickremesinghe speaking in Parliament... Read More

Milk powder containers imported in violation of regulations
Tuesday, 29 November 2022 - 12:20

It is revealed that 06 containers of 'powdered milk' stock stuck at the Colombo Port was imported violating Import - Export regulations: State Minister... Read More