Constitutional Court rules PM was not state official as NCPO chief

Constitutional Court rules PM was not state official as NCPO chief

The Constitutional Court ruled that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was not a state official when he was head of the NCPO. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The Constitutional Court ruled that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was not a state official when he was head of the NCPO. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was not a state official when he ruled as head of the junta, the Constitutional Court has ruled, a decision that secures his position as prime minister. .

The court said Gen Prayut was not a state official when he was the National Council of Peace and Order chairman as it was an interim position which was not under any state agencies.

The NCPO chairman was a product of the administrative power seizure, the court said, adding that the ruling does not end his premiership.

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai in July forwarded the petition in July. It was initiated by 110 MPs from seven opposition parties.

The MPs wanted the court to rule on whether Gen Prayut's status as the premier should be terminated on the basis that as chief of the now-defunct NCPO, he was a state official -- and thus not eligible to hold the post of prime minister.

Gen Prayut orchestrated the coup in 2014 when he was the army chief, ousting the governing Pheu Thai Party from power after bloody street protests.

The court on Sept 11 rejected a petition lodged by the Ombudsman concerning Gen Prayut's incomplete recitation of the oath of office in July, saying it was "not in its authority" to make a ruling on the oath-taking during the cabinet swearing-in ceremony before His Majesty the King.


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