Prayut submits 30-page defence to court to remain PM

PHOTO: Prayut, shown here in a music video wearing a shirt full of dollar signs, submitted a 30-page defence to the court on Thursday. (via video screencap)

In the ongoing battle for Prayut Chan-o-cha to stay on as prime minister of Thailand, the suspended PM and current Minister of Defence had his legal team submitted a 30-page document that lays out his defence against all the arguments regarding his term limits to the Constitutional Court.

While the Constitutional Court is still considering whether Prayut can remain as prime minister past the eight years he has already served and is constitutionally allowed, on August 24, the court ordered that he be suspended from the position while deliberation continues.

Upon suspension, Prayut was given about two weeks to prepare a statement making a case for continuing as prime minister. His legal team set to work immediately and managed to submit the document on Thursday – just eight days later.

Although the current constitution says that the prime minister can serve a maximum of 8 years, controversy arises as to when that eight-year tenure started.

Many argue that it began on August 24, 2014, when Prayut was first officially appointed to the role after seizing power in a military coup just a few months earlier. But the main bone of contention is that the Constitution did not ratify it until four years later.

Others argue that the legal start date for his term was April 6, 2017, when the constitution was published in the Royal Gazette after being signed by His Royal Majesty King Vajiralongkorn. Some other pro-Prayut factions believe his term started on June 9, 2019, the date the suspended PM started his second term since it was the first term under the new constitution.

With that in mind, the Constitutional Court has to consider the 30-page document submitted on Thursday and decide whether Prayut Chan-o-cha’s tenure as prime minister ended in August, or can continue until April 2025, or June 2027.

SOURCE: TPN National

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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