By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha might probably dissolve the House of Representatives soon with intent to prolong his rule, albeit in caretaker fashion, said Pheu Thai party leader Chonlanan Srikaew today (August 17).
The opposition leader made his comments after he has today filed a petition undersigned by 171 opposition MPs for the Constitutional Court to pass a ruling on Prayut’s eight-year tenure maximumly provided by law.
Besieged by the contentious legal issue involving his eight years in power alleged to end on the upcoming August 24, Prayut might probably opt out by dissolving the House, thus preempting a time-consuming process at the Constitutional Court while refusing to call a general election due to lack of the constitution’s organic law relevant to the next race to parliament.
Prayut could possibly dissolve the House a few days ahead of August 24, thus rendering the Constitutional Court to declare the non-fait-accompli case closed due to the fact that he has been running the country for less than eight years so far since 2014, the year in which he became head of a military-installed government following a coup which he had orchestrated as army chief earlier that year.
Nevertheless, Chonlanan called on Prayut to never carry out the intent to continue to run the country as caretaker prime minister beyond August 24 and unnecessarily trigger another political crisis with many people taking to Bangkok’s streets in protest of his prolonged rule.
Without the promulgation of the organic law pertaining to the election for MPs which has been recently dumped at parliament, automatically paving way for the reintroduction of the government’s version of the electoral system earlier drafted by the Election Commission, Prayut could probably drag on his feet far beyond a 60-day period provided by law for a general election to follow the dissolution of the House, according to Chonlanan.
The government-proposed version calls for the use of the mixed-member-majority system, also known as the divided-by-100 formula which may benefit large- and medium-size parties in lieu of the mixed-member-proportional system, also known as the divided-by-500 formula which would otherwise make MPs out of splinter parties’ candidates as had been the case in the 2019 election.
However, an executive decree in reference to the government’s version of the electoral system for use in the next general election could possibly be issued by the caretaker government.
In their petition over Prayut’s eight-year tenure submitted to the Constitutional Commission, the opposition bloc strongly insists that Prayut be immediately stopped from performing his duties after the complaint has been accepted by court and until it has been finally judged by court, the opposition leader-cum-Pheu Thai leader said.
So is a host of 51 law lecturers at 15 universities in a similar plea filed with the court to keep the unelected premier from prolonging his rule even in the capacity of a caretaker one.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Pheu Thai party leader Chonlanan Srikaew. Photo: Matichon Weekly