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Opposition accused of misinterpreting how long PM has left in office

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/ประยุทธ์ จันทร์โอชา Prayut Chan-o-cha

A spokesperson from the PM’s Secretariat Office has slammed opposition parties for trying to end the PM’s term prematurely. Thippanan Sirichana accuses opposition MPs of trying to damage Prayut Chan-o-cha’s reputation because they’re concerned he might score a second term in office. According to a Bangkok Post report, the confrontation is the result of a difference of opinion as to how long the PM has been in office.

Opposition parties say the PM has been in his role since being confirmed as head of the National Council for Peace and Order following the 2014 military coup. Section 158 of the constitution prevents anyone from being PM for more than 8 years, whether or not both 4-year terms are served back-to-back. The opposition is therefore saying the PM has less than a year left and that his time as leader of the country will end next August.

However, the Bangkok Post reports that Thippanan has argued against this, insisting that the PM’s term in office only began after the declaration of the current charter in 2017. She refutes the claim that his time in office after the coup counts towards his total tenure, arguing that it does not say this anywhere in the charter.

In other news, opposition parties are also filing a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission based on allegations levelled against the PM and 2 of his ministers. The Pheu Thai Party alleges that the PM, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on mishandled Covid-19 vaccine procurement, engaged in corrupt practices when procuring antigen test kits, and mismanaged the rubber stockpile quota, causing the price of rubber to collapse.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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