Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Court case against PM unlikely to affect confidence in govt, says Prawit

Jul 08. 2019
Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and Prayut Chan-o-cha
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By The Nation

Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Monday that confidence in the government was unlikely to be affected by a possible Constitutional Court trial over Prayut Chan-o-cha’s qualifications to serve as Prime Minister.

General Prawit said he had no concerns about House Speaker Chuan Leekpai forwarding a petition from MPs of the opposition Pheu Thai Party to the Constitutional Court for a ruling.

The opposition MPs allege that General Prayut is unqualified to be prime minister in the wake of the March election because he should be considered a state official and this is prohibited by the Constitution from holding any Cabinet position.

“I’m not worried,” Prawit said. “[Prayut] can still perform his duties. I don’t think this issue will affect confidence in the government.”

He said the Ombudsman’s Office had studied the matter and found nothing wrong with Prayut’s qualifications.

Meanwhile, Senate Speaker Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said on Monday that Chuan, who is also Parliament president, simply complied with the Constitution in forwarding the petition to the court.

“We will have to wait for a judgment from the Constitutional Court,” he said. “The process is in line with the provisions of the Constitution.”

MP Ladawan Wongsriwong, spokesperson for the opposition Pheu Thai Party, on Monday called on Prayut to voluntarily stop performing his duties while the petition was under court consideration.

She said Prayut should be considered a state official and thus unqualified to contest the election as a PM candidate in the first place.

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