August 17, 2022
BANGKOK – The Ombudsman’s Office says it will decide before next Tuesday (August 23) whether to pass a petition on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s term limit to the Constitutional Court.
Ombudsman to make decision on Prayut’s tenure petition before Aug 23
The petition, submitted by political activist Srisuwan Janya, insists that Prayut’s term ends on August 23 when he will have served the maximum eight years as stipulated in the Constitution.
Srisuwan on August 5 submitted two separate petitions to the Ombudsman and the Election Commission (EC), urging them to seek a Constitutional Court ruling on Prayut’s tenure.
The petitions say that Prayut’s term should be counted from when he first became prime minister after the coup he led in May 2014.
However, a House of Representatives legal team argues that Prayut’s tenure technically started on June 9, 2019 when he was appointed as prime minister by royal command under the 2017 charter. Hence, Prayut’s term will expire in 2027, said the panel.
Keirov Kritteranon, secretary-general of the Ombudsman’s Office, said it would be able to decide without seeking information from any other agency as the petition concerned legal technicalities and interpretations of the charter.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the Ombudsman had no direct authority to consider the issue as that power belonged to the EC.
However, Article 231 of the Constitution states that the Ombudsman may seek an interpretation from the Constitutional Court on any matter concerning disputes over the charter.