Prayut has a plan to move house, just in case

Prayut has a plan to move house, just in case

PM says he will respect court ruling

The exterior of the house at the 1st Infantry Regiment barracks, King's Guard, where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his family live. (Photo: Wassana Nanuam)
The exterior of the house at the 1st Infantry Regiment barracks, King's Guard, where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his family live. (Photo: Wassana Nanuam)

Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha said on Monday he will return to live in his own house if the Constitutional Court rules against his present use of a house inside an army barracks.

The court will on Wednesday rule on the Pheu Thai Party's petition challenging the legality of the prime minister's continued occupancy of an army residence since his retirement from the military.  

The prime minister and his family reside in a house at the 1st Infantry Regiment barracks on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. 

Gen Prayut said on Monday that if the court rules aganst him he would move out and live in his own place.

He has a house in Padiphat area, according to his household registration. His father's house is on Rama II Road in Bang Khunthian district.

After leading the coup on May 22, 2014 as army commander-in-chef, Gen Prayut, retired on Sept 30, 2014. He continued as prime minister and was returned to office following last year's general election.

The army has explained that the house the prime minister lives in is not a welfare house provided for serving top brass. It was redesignated as a guesthouse in 2012. The army has also cited security as the reason Gen Prayut needs to live inside the army compound.

A ruling against the prime minister would mean an end to his premiership, and also the life of the current cabinet.

Gen Prayut said he would leave the decision to the court and respect the outcome, and insisted he had never abused his authority for his own benefit.

Pheu Thai legal chief Chusak Sirinil said on Friday that the opposition party was confident the court would rule against the prime minister using a state-owned house after retirement.

"A guesthouse is for temporary stays of seven to 10 days, not forever," he said.

The court will read out its ruling, starting at 3pm on Wednesday. Anti-government protesters plan to rally outside the court, waiting for the result.

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