Constitutional Court Says General Prayut’s Tenure Ends in 2025

The Constitutional Court has ruled that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s term began on April 6, 2017, and must end in 2025.

On Friday afternoon, the court read the ruling, saying General Prayut’s term as prime minister had begun when the current charter was promulgated and the 2017 constitution came into effect on April 6 that year.

According to the nine-member panel, General Prayut’s previous mandate does not apply under the current constitution.

“The tenure of the accused (the prime minister) from April 6, 2017, to August 24, 2022, has not reached its limit and the court rules by a majority vote that his premiership has not ended in accordance with the 2017 constitution,” the court added.

Responding to a request for clarification from the opposition presented through the House of Representatives on August 17, the ruling determines that General Prayut’s mandate must expire in 2025.

Opposition leaders argued that General Prayut’s term as prime minister started on August 24, 2014, under a provisional constitution established after that year’s March coup.

Therefore, under Thai laws that limit the prime’s tenure to eight years, he was to remain in power until August 24 this year.

In response to the opposition’s request, the Constitutional Court suspended General Prayut from his functions as Prime Minister on August 24, pending a ruling. Since then, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has served as acting prime minister.

After the Constitutional Court announced the ruling yesterday, General Prayut shared a message on his Facebook account saying that he respected the judge’s decision and was grateful for the support he received.

General Prayut also spoke about his government’s development projects, describing them as unprecedented opportunities for prosperity for millions of people in Thailand.

“The past month has given me an opportunity to reflect and realize that I have to spend the government’s precious time, which is limited, to push many important projects that I started,” he added.

Later on Friday, a source close to the government said that General Prayut would return to Government House to resume his job as prime minister on Monday.