Thailand’s Constitutional Court will today start deliberations on the tenure of currently suspended PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha. Judges will consider whether the PM has exceeded the 8 year limit on his time in office, as noted in the 2017 Thai charter. A ruling on the matter is expected in the next 15 days, according to t report in Nation Thailand. However, should the court find it does not yet have enough evidence, additional witnesses or other related agencies could be asked to submit more.
Opposition parties claim the PM’s time in office ended on August 24 and filed a petition asking the court to rule on the matter. The petition cites section 158 of the 2017 Constitution, which prohibits anyone from remaining in the position of PM for more than 8 years, regardless of whether both 4-year terms are back-to-back or not.
The now-suspended PM proclaimed himself Thailand’s prime minister on August 24, 2014, after a military coup in May of that year that deposed the sitting government of the time. Prayut and the interim cabinet, known as the NCPO, were even anointed at a ceremony presided over by Rama 9.
However, Prayut has continued to argue that his 8 years in office should start from April 6, 2017, when Thailand’s current Constitution came into effect.
Nation Thailand reports that security is tight around the Ratchaburi Direkrit Building, in the Bangkok district of Lak Si, where judges are deliberating. Unauthorised personnel are banned from entering the building and the media are required to hand in their ID cards in exchange for official passes.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand