THAILAND Bangkok, the Supreme Court suspends former general and current Prime Minister Prayut

The judges will review the petition presented by the opposition, since 8 years have passed since he took office after the coup. Supporters are pushing to delay the start of his term until the latest constitution is approved, thereby moving the deadline to 2025. Powers have been temporarily transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, another former military man. Public opinion is divided between the will to turn the page and the fear of a new period of instability.

Bangkok () – The Constitutional Court of Thailand, with five votes in favor and four against, has decided to suspend former general Prayut Chan-ocha from his post as prime minister. With this measure, the magistrates made it clear that they have decided to study the request to terminate his mandate because the deadlines have been met. This is an important decision, both for its democratic value and because it helps to alleviate the tension that threatened to erupt again in the streets surrounding the Government Palace in Bangkok, blocked overnight with containers.

Prayut, president of the military junta that assumed power on May 22, 2014 and later headed the government (civilian but backed by the armed forces) that took office on August 24 of that same year, is the longest-serving prime minister in office in Thai history. But the Constitution, even the one that was approved after the coup, prohibits the term of office to exceed eight years.

Consequently, the prime minister has been removed from his post and his powers as of August 23. His supporters, however, maintain that the duration of his mandate should be calculated from the moment the current Constitution came into force, on April 6, 2017, which guarantees him almost absolute power until 2025. .

In recent days, opposition deputies have delivered to the president of the lower house, former Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, a request for the Constitutional Court to rule on the matter. The Court today admitted said request and immediately suspended Prayut, thus opening an internal debate that could last up to a month before reaching a sentence.

For current affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, another former general loyal to Prayut, is in charge of the government, criticized by the opposition both for his rigidity and for a lifestyle that is certainly not characterized by moderation.

One of the unknowns of the new situation that has been created with today’s decision by the judges is the reaction of the Armed Forces to this new challenge to the control they exercise over the country. For its part, public opinion is divided between the will to definitively end military control – which has lasted practically without interruption for ninety years – and the desire to avoid conflicts that could lead to a new phase of instability and violence.

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