BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was removed from office by Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday while it considered a legal challenge that could result in his dismissal months ahead of an anticipated general election.The opposition parties’ request to have the court consider whether Prayut has served out his allotted eight years as premier was overwhelmingly approved.
By a decision of five to four, the judges also voted to remove Prayut from office until the matter was resolved, according to the court.According to the statement, the court examined the petition and supporting papers and determined that the facts in relation to the request “provide convincing reasons to believe that there is a case as sought.”
The decision to suspend Prayut as prime minister starting on August 24, 2022, until the court issues a ruling has a majority vote (five in favour to four against).As interim prime minister while the matter is being heard, Prawit Wongsuwan, one of Prayut’s deputies and a former army leader, will serve in place of Prayut, who will continue to serve as defence minister and has 15 days to answer to the charges against him.
The current government will carry on with business as usual, according to a second deputy prime minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, because General Prayut has not been fired but rather suspended from duty. Pita Limjaroenrat, the proponent of the petition and the head of the opposition Move Forward Party, asserted that the country needed fresh leadership.