Ombudsman to probe cabinet's oath

Ombudsman to probe cabinet's oath

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha leads cabinet ministers to swear an oath before Their Majesties at Dusit Throne on July 16. (Pool TV photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha leads cabinet ministers to swear an oath before Their Majesties at Dusit Throne on July 16. (Pool TV photo)

The Ombudsman resolved on Tuesday to examine the legitimacy of the cabinet's oath during its swearing-in, in response to a petition from an activist who questioned the status of the Prayut Chan-o-cha government.

Raksagecha Chaechai, secretary-general to the Ombudsman, said the Ombudsman decided to accept the petition from activist Srisuwan Chanya who asked the Ombudsman to forward the issue to the Constitutional Court or the Administrative Court to seek a ruling on the legitimacy of the government based on cabinet ministers' oath before His Majesty the King on July 16.

The activist filed his complaint with the Ombudsman on Monday, questioning if an incomplete oath was unconstitutional regarding Section 161 of the constitution.

The Ombudsman ordered the legal section of its office to quickly study facts and legal aspects concerning the issue and would decide if the Ombudsman would require a testimony of any concerned party, Mr Raksagecha said.

The Ombudsman had not yet decided if the issue concerned the Constitutional Court or the Administrative Court. "But the Ombudsman guarantees quick consideration of the issue that is important and of interest to society," he said.

On Monday, activist Srisuwan said the last sentence was missing from the oath Prime Minister Prayut read for cabinet ministers to repeat as required by Section 161 of the constitution. He accused the prime minister of overlooking the constitution and jeopardising the legitimacy of the government.

That could have serious legal and political impacts and dealt a serious blow to 16 million people who had voted for the constitution in the 2016 referendum, the activist said.

Section 161 of the 2017 constitution prescribes: "Before assuming duties, cabinet ministers must swear an oath to His Majesty the King as follows:

"I (name of minister) swear I will be loyal to His Majesty and perform my duties honestly for the benefits of the country and the people. I will also uphold and comply with the constitution of the kingdom in every aspect."


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