In probably the biggest political news in Thailand in a long time, 2014 coup leader and incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was suspended by the Constitutional Court to undertake duties as Premier until the court delivers a ruling on his 8-year tenure.
Although the final decision is set to come sometimes in September or possibly in October here are some key takeaways from this.
1. What does the court decision portend for its final ruling?
It is not surprising that the court decided to accept the opposition’s petition on whether General Prayut’s tenure has now breached the 8-year term limit imposed by the constitution. Although the Constitutional Court has not always accepted hot-potato political cases in the past, there was little justification for why the court would not accept a case so clearly under their jurisdiction, and many legal experts expected the court to take this on.
The major surprise came in how the court voted 5-4 to temporarily suspend General Prayut from the premiership. It is only natural to ask whether this portends something about the eventual decision on the term limit itself.
Is there now a majority on the court for removing the prime minister from power?
The answer to this question is still unknown, but the odds for that happening has increased considerably given the decision that was taken today.
(Cover image credits)