By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A NOTED ACADEMIC suggested today (August 10) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolve the House of Representatives later this month to circumvent a court ruling which might otherwise pinpoint his eight-year rule to end in a couple of weeks from now.
The National Institute of Development Administration’s political and development strategies project director Pichai Ratanadilok na Phuket said Prayut could possibly opt to dissolving the House between August 19 and August 22 to preempt the judgement of the Constitutional Court that his eight-year tenure, maximumly provided by law, will end on the approaching August 24, the date on which he named himself head of a military-installed government in 2014 following a coup which he orchestrated as army chief that year.
If Prayut dissolved the House and called a general election in a 60-day time, he would not only remain as head of a caretaker government until a post-election government has been set up but have the craved opportunity to host APEC meetings, scheduled for November, the major international forum during which he has conspicuously yearned to rub shoulders with world leaders, according to the academic.
It might probably take several weeks for parties which may have won a large number of MP seats to join hands and form a coalition government of their own whilst the period of time during which a caretaker prime minister may run the country will not be construed by law as a tenure of his assuming the top government post.
Pichai cited minutes of meetings of the now-defunct Constitution Drafting Committee chaired by legal guru Mechai Ruchupan as advising that one’s eight-year tenure of premiership get started from the year in which he or she has begun to run the country either before, during or after the year of the constitution’s promulgation.
For that reason, the NIDA academic commented, the unelected Prayut’s eight-year tenure maximuly provided by law has been definitely scheduled to end on August 24.
Nevertheless, a majority of the nine-judge Constitutional Court might possibly rule in favour of Prayut to the extent that his eight-year tenure not get started from 2014, the year in which he turned himself from the coup leader to the head of the military-installed government but from 2017, the year in which the constitution drafted by a military-installed committee was promulgated with lasting effect on the premier’s maximum term.
In case that the constitution’s organic law pertaining to the future election for MPs is finally aborted due to failure to sail through the legislative branch within a 180-day time as provided by law and scheduled to end on August 15, the Prayut government will be legally empowered to issue an executive decree with the use of the Election Commission’s draft legislation to govern the next race to parliament.
The draft of the polling agency unequivocally recommends the mixed-member-majority system, better known as the divided-by-100 formula, for the making of 100 party-listed MPs apart from 400 constituency-based MPs.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Front Page: Mr. Pichai Ratanadilok na Phuket. Both photos: Matichon