Thailand Constitutional Court suspends Prime Minister for term inquiry

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court has suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha because the court will investigate whether the prime minister has not been in power for too long. The investigation comes on the demand of the opposition parties who say that Prayut has reached his term limit of eight years. The Thai prime minister came to power in 2014 after a military coup.

Several opposition parties have applied to the Constitutional Court of Thailand to investigate whether the current Prime Minister, 68-year-old General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, has not been in power in the Asian country for too long. Pending a ruling, the court has decided to suspend the Prime Minister. Five judges voted for the suspension, four against. The court’s decision marks a landslide in Thai politics, some seven months before long-awaited elections.

Prayut came to power in 2014 after a coup. Anti-government activists have been trying to get him out of office for three years, believing that he is in power illegally. According to the opposition, his term limit of 8 years has expired. That limit was only set in the Constitution in 2017. Supporters therefore note that the counter could have been reset again in 2017, and here and there it is even suggested that this happened in 2019, at the last election. If the court follows that interpretation, Prayut could remain prime minister until 2025, or even 2027. “Let the Constitutional Court decide,” the suspended prime minister said.

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