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Constitutional Court To Rule In Prayuth's Term-Limit Case This Afternoon


Thailand's Constitutional Court is preparing to issue its verdict in Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha's term-limit case around 3pm local time.

  • The court voted 5-4 on August 24 to suspend Prayuth as Prime Minister, pending the clarification of the expiry date of his tenure. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit has assumed the post of acting Prime Minister, while Prayuth has been allowed to continue working in his capacity as Defence Minister.
  • If the court rules against Prayuth, the whole Cabinet will have to be dissolved and parliament will need to select a new Premier from candidates nominated in the 2019 election. This means that the ruling Palang Pracharath Party will lose premiership, as Prayuth was its only candidate in 2019.
  • If Prayuth is allowed to stay, the court may decide that he has two or five more years in office, depending on the judgement regarding the starting date of his tenure. Even if Prayuth remains Prime Minister, the case would leave his authority undermined, with critics likely to keep challenging the legitimacy of his leadership.
  • Due to the fact that the court is dominated by members chosen by the military-controlled Senate, some expect it to rule in favour of Prayuth, the leader of the 2014 military coup. A decision to unseat the Prime Minister could be a sign of a shift in power dynamics within the ruling coalition.

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