Constitutional Court meets today over Prayut tenure case


All eyes are on the Constitutional Court on Wednesday at 10am as judges begin deliberating on whether suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has exceeded his 8-year term limit.

The court is expected to announce that it has enough evidence to make a decision on Prayut’s tenure in the next 15 days, the timeline for a ruling in such cases.

The case stems from a petition lodged by the opposition, which asked the court to rule on whether Prayut’s eight-year term ended on August 24.

Section 158 of the 2017 Constitution bars any individual from being premier in excess of eight years, regardless of whether or not the four-year terms are served back-to-back.

Prayut assumed office on August 24, 2014, following the military coup he led in May that year. However, he argues that his eight-year term as premier should be counted from April 6, 2017, when the current Constitution was promulgated.

A news source said that should the court announce it does not yet have enough evidence to make a decision, they could demand additional witnesses or order related agencies or personnel to submit more evidence.

The source also said security measures are being tightened at the Ratchaburi Direkrit Building in Bangkok’s Lak Si district, where the meeting will take place. Unauthorised personnel have been barred from entering the building, while all members of the press need to exchange their media ID for official passes.