Thai court suspends PM Prayuth pending term limit review

Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday suspended Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha from official duties after it decided to hear a petition to review his legally mandated eight-year term limit.

The court announced its decision in a statement sent to media. It was not clear when it would deliver a final ruling on the petition brought by the main opposition party arguing that Prayuth’s time spent as head of a military junta should count towards his constitutionally stipulated eight-year term.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan is expected to take over as interim leader, a government official said earlier in the week.

Former army chief Prayuth took power in 2014 when he led a coup to overthrow an elected government. He became a civilian prime minister in 2019 after an election held under a military-drafted constitution.

The main opposition party has petitioned the Constitutional Court to review his legally mandated eight-year term limit, arguing that he should leave office this month because his time as junta chief should count towards his term.

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