Constitutional Court rules that PM Prayut’s 8-year term in office has not expired


Thailand’s Constitutional Court has ruled by a majority that, in accordance with the 2017 Constitution, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s 8-year term in office did not expire on August 24th.


The court reasoned that the prime minister’s term should be calculated from the promulgation of that Constitution on April 6th, 2017. The court took less than 30 minutes to read their ruling, which was broadcast live nationwide.


As a result of this afternoon’s ruling, Prime Minister Prayut, who was suspended from active duty by the court on August 23rd, will resume his position immediately and will be back in the premiere’s office in Government House on Monday.


This morning (Friday), opposition chief whip Sutin Klungsang warned that there may be a political crisis if the court rules in favor of the prime minister, as there are opposing political activist groups who had threatened to stage rallies today.


Rather than allowing the country to slip into a political crisis, he said the prime minister should have made the sacrifice by resigning before August 24th.


Prime Minister Prayut was at his residence at the First Infantry Regiment of the Royal Guards on Vibhavadi Rangsit highway while the ruling was being read by three of the court’s nine justices.


It believed that six of the justices agreed that the prime minister’s term in office did not expire on August 23rd, as was posited by opposition parties.


Several anti-government groups plan to hold rallies this evening at the skywalk in Bangkok’s central commercial district of Pathumwan.


Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service