By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha who has been ordered by court to stop performing as of yesterday is no longer politically righteous to come back as head of government, commented academics today (August 25).
National Institute of Development Administration’s (NIDA) Political and Development Strategies Project director Pichai Ratanadilok suggested Prayut call it quits now that he is no longer politically justifiable to return as head of government, given the fact that he has already run the country for eight years as maximumly provided by law.
Pichai encouraged Prayut to step down now though the Constitutional Court which has ordered him to immediately stop performing his duties is yet to deliver a ruling on his eight-year rule within next month.
Clauses of the current constitution drafted by a now-defunct, military-installed Constitution Drafting Committee stipulate that one is given premiership for no longer than eight years either in consecutive or non-consecutive fashion and that his or her tenure may be legally retroactive.
The NIDA academic said people nationwide would likely rise in protest of a possible comeback of Prayut and take the Constitutional Court’s judges to task if they finally pass a ruling in his favour to the extent that he practically run the country beyond the maximum eight-year period.
Many people would be considerably puzzled and confused at the possibility of Prayut being allowed by court to continue to rule beyond the eight-year tenure maximumly provided by law, Pichai said.
Prayut rose to power by way of a coup which he orchestrated as army chief in 2014, then named himself head of a military-installed government later that year and was named head of a Palang Pracharath-led coalition government following a general election in 2019.
Kasetsart University’s Political Science Association president Thanaporn Sriyakul commented that Prayut who has eventually spent eight years in power which, he said, legally ended yesterday is no longer politically justifiable to come back and continue to run the country for any reasons.
Thanaporn advised that Prayut step down now to pave the way for the legislative branch to promptly put someone in his place and pick up where he may have left off in running the country. Given the Constitutional Court’s order for Prayut to stop doing his duties as head of government, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has automatically become caretaker premier.
However, the Kasetsart academic said, Prayut would opt to not attend weekly cabinet meetings at Government House because he might otherwise embarrass the caretaker premier and other cabinet members though he may only perform as defence minister, the duties of which he has earlier concurrently performed.
The House of Representatives and Senate would promptly convene to name a person as head of government in place of Prayut if he stepped down at any time from now, the Kasetsart academic commented.
If any of those earlier named as candidates for head of government by parties contesting the previous election failed to win votes from more than half the total of MPs and senators combined, an outsider such as Prawit who concurrently leads the largest coalition party might probably be named a premier instead, Thanaporn said.
Prawit would almost certainly not allow Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul who has been named the Bhumjaithai Party candidate for head of government or former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat Party candidate to assume the top post of government as long as his Palang Pracharath Party is the largest coalition partner, Pichai said.
The caretaker premier could legally reshuffle the cabinet seats, transfer senior government officials including military and police commanders and dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election, according to the academics.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Photo: INN News
Front Page: Prominent academic Pichai Rattanadilok. Photo: Matichon