August 23, 2022
BANGKOK – The opposition’s petition, seeking a ruling on the tenure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, was on Monday submitted to the Constitutional Court.
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All eyes on Constitutional Court as petition seeks ruling on PM
Officials of the House Secretariat submitted the petition to the court at 10.30am on Monday.
Earlier, opposition MPs had submitted the petition to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai to forward it to the Constitutional Court for a ruling on whether Prayut, on Wednesday, would complete his eight-year term as PM as stipulated by the current Constitution.
The Constitutional Court is scheduled to hold a weekly meeting on Wednesday. It is not known if the court would take up the petition for consideration that day.
If the court decides to consider the petition, it also will have to make a decision on whether to suspend Prayut from duty pending a ruling on the petition.
The opposition insists that Prayut’s stint as PM should be counted from the time he first assumed the role on August 24, 2014, after leading a military coup in May that year.
The government, however, argues that Prayut’s tenure should be considered only from the time the current Constitution came into force on April 6, 2017. According to a third point of view, Prayut’s tenure should be counted only from the time he was sworn in as prime minister on June 9, 2019, following the general election in March that year.
The opposition and anti-government movements have started stepping up pressure for Prayut to step down ahead of Wednesday when they regard Prayut as reaching the eight-year limit.
On Sunday, the Ratsadon group and 38 other organisations demanded that Prayut step down. Political activists Jatuporn Prompan and Nititorn Lamlua started a rally at the Lan Khon Muang in front of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s head office on Sunday to start the countdown to Wednesday.