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Multiple challenges to Thai PM’s leadership have failed




Some compare him to Teflon for his ability to survive all manner of allegations, because the legal challenges keep coming and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha keeps winning. The Thai PM has now survived 3 legal challenges to his leadership, not to mention the countless calls for his resignation that were a hallmark of the recent pro-democracy protests. It’s probably safe to say he’s not going anywhere for a while.

The first challenge to the PM’s leadership came in September of last year, when he fought off an ombudsman ruling that he had not recited the full oath of office while being sworn in the previous July. In that case, the Constitutional Court ruled that it didn’t have the authority to make a call on the matter.

About a week later, the court had to rule on whether or not the PM could be considered a state official while in the role of chief of the National Council for Peace and Order. Opposition parties argued that the PM was a state official while head of the NCPO, meaning he was not entitled to hold the position of PM after last year’s election. However, the court found that as the NCPO had seized power in a 2014 coup, the position of its chief was not under state command, therefore he could not be considered a state official.

The third challenge came last month, when the Constitutional Court again found in the PM’s favour, acquitting him of charges that he was illegally occupying a military residence. The opposition had accused the PM of a conflict of interest by living in the property after he had retired from the army. The court ruled that the PM was permitted to remain in the property under a 2005 army regulation, which permits retired army generals to stay living in military residences if they continue to serve the country well. The PM has lived at the army property since becoming army chief in 2010.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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