The Constitutional Court ruled that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s term in office has not surpassed his maximum eight-year term limit as premier. This ruling effectively allows him to resume his duties as Prime Minister of Thailand.
According to the court, Gen Prayuth’s tenure as prime minister should be counted from 2017, when the current constitution was promulgated. The court’s verdict effectively ends the suspension of his prime minister duties while the court justices reviewed the case filed by the opposition via the House Speaker. The reading of the verdict today took about 25 minutes on Sept. 30.
Article 158 of the current constitution states: “The prime minister shall not hold office for more than eight years in total, whether or not consecutively. However, this shall not include the period during which the prime minister carries out duties after vacating the office.”
On 4 August, the opposition submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court, asking if Gen Prayut had already completed his term in office, reasoning that he had been in the position since 24 August 2014 after a military takeover. (NNT)