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Thai court justifies PM’s appointment, dismisses illegitimacy concern

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday dismissed a complaint that prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s appointment was unconstitutional because he assumed the post while he held an official state position as junta leader.

Prayut led a military junta that overthrew an elected government in 2014.

He was nominated to resume his role as prime minister after an election was held in March under new election laws his military government introduced.

According to the constitution, state officials are not allowed to assume a ministerial post but Prayut was named prime minister in June while he still held the position of junta leader.

Prayut’s assumption to the post while he held an official state position as junta leader had led to the complaint being filed by opposition lawmakers.

Wednesday’s court ruling said the position of junta leader was not considered to be an official state position, but a sovereign position as it did not fall under the authority of any government department.

Separately on Wednesday, Prayut attended a parliament session that discussed his omission of a phrase about complying with the constitution when he recited his oath of office in July.

The session included multiple calls by opposition lawmakers for Prayut’s resignation.

The Constitutional Court ruled last week that the issue of Prayut’s incomplete oath was not under its jurisdiction, and only between the government and the Thai king.

The courts in Thailand have a history of ruling in favour of the traditional conservative establishment, including the military, which has executed 12 coups since the country’s absolute monarchy was replaced with a constitutional one in 1932.
FAT/ASH

Edited by Fatima Sule/

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