BREAKING: Constitutional Court suspends Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

Thailand’s Constitutional Court has suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha from his duties until the court makes a final verdict on his eight-year term limit. The 77 year old Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan will step in as PM for the time being.

Out of the nine people on the voting committee, five voted to suspend Prayut from his duties. The court confirmed that Prayut can continue his serving as Minister of Defense.

The court is deciding whether or not time is up on Prayut’s premiership. According to Thailand’s constitution, “The Prime Minister shall not hold office for more than eight years in total.”

The 68 year old’s supporters say his premiership started in 2017 when HM the King ratified a new constitution drafted by the military junta government, meaning he can still serve as PM until 2025.

Prayut’s opposition says he should step down today, eight years after he became Prime Minister in August 2014, three months after he led a coup against the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

The court is expected to make its final decision on Prayut’s term limit in around one month.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.