Thailand: PM Suspended Pending Term Limit Ruling
On Wed., Thailand's Constitutional Court suspended PM Prayuth Chan-ocha from his official duties, by a 5-4 majority vote, until a ruling on his term limit is delivered.
- On Wed., Thailand's Constitutional Court suspended PM Prayuth Chan-ocha from his official duties, by a 5-4 majority vote, until a ruling on his term limit is delivered.
- Prayuth must submit his defense to the court within 15 days of receiving a copy of the complaint, but a date to decide the issue hasn't been announced yet.
- Following the suspension order, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon has taken over as acting leader of the country, while Prayuth will continue to serve as defense minister.
- This comes after the court unanimously accepted to hear a petition signed by 171 opposition MPs, who argue that Prayuth should've left office this week, as the Thai Constitution limits prime ministerial terms of more than eight years.
- The opposition claims Prayuth's term began when he appointed himself PM after leading a military coup in 2014, while his supporters argue that it started either after 2017 - when a new constitution was introduced - or after the 2019 elections.
- Protests demanding Prayuth and his cabinet resign have been held since 2020, and polls indicate that two-thirds of the Thai population want him to leave office. However, he has survived several no-confidence votes so far.
Sources: Al Jazeera, NBC, Bangkok Post, Guardian, BBC News, and Time.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Khaosod English. Prayuth needs to let go of power and call for a snap election to solve this political impasse and prevent further crises and legal battles. This solution is unlikely, however, as he has already shown he isn't willing to return the power he illegitimately seized from the people in 2014.
- Pro-establishment narrative as provided by Nation Thailand. The constitutional law concerning the expiration of PM Preyuth's term is immensely complex. Whatever the Constitutional Court decides will be respected by the government and, in order to avoid political interference with the court, there shouldn't be any speculation about the outcome of the case.