By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha will definitely continue to run the country beyond August unless ruled otherwise by court, said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam today (Mar.28).
The deputy premier in charge of legal affairs said the Constitutional Court is yet to determine how long Prayut has already become head of government, given a maximum of eight years in power as provided by the constitution.
Prayut’s premiership may have either started in 2014, the year in which Prayut as then-army chief staged a coup and named himself head of a military-installed government, or in 2017, the year in which the current constitution was promulgated, or in 2019, the year in which a general election was held and led to his being named head of an elected coalition government.
Wissanu assured that the current Palang Pracharath Party-led government will not ask the Constitutional Court to pass a ruling on how long Prayut has run the country with respect to the eight-year limit provided by the constitution though other parties would almost certainly seek a court ruling for that matter.
Nevertheless, no petitions for the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Prayut’s period of rule are expected until this year’s August 24 has arrived or is closely approaching.
Wissanu said if the court ruled Prayut out of power by then, he could practically run the country as a caretaker prime minister until a new head of government has been named at parliament.
Prayut’s critics insisted that he will already have spent up the eight-year limit to his premiership by the upcoming August beginning from the year in which he rose to power by way of the coup whereas his supporters contended that he will still have several more years to run, either started from the year of promulgation of the current constitution or the year of the previous election.
Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan earlier predicted that Prayut will dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election after he has hosted APEC meetings scheduled for November though the current coalition government would otherwise perform until they have completed a four-year electoral term by next March.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: INN News, Home Page photo: Matichon