Thailand’s main opposition party—the Pheu Thai Party (PTP)—claims that today should be the last day of Thai Prime Minister Prayut
Thailand’s main opposition party—the Pheu Thai Party (PTP)—claims that today should be the last day of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s term in office. Prayut’s current term will finish in March 2023. However, the PTP insists his five years as the leader of Thailand’s military junta should count toward the constitutional eight-year limit for prime ministers, thereby marking August 23 as his last day in office. The PTP has asked the constitutional court to rule on the matter.
It is highly unlikely that this legal challenge would result in the PM’s resignation, as the courts generally favor the military. Still, the PTP may succeed in highlighting the current administration’s illegitimacy. Prayut ruled Thailand for five years after the military junta’s coup d’etat in 2014. He became prime minister in 2019 under the military-drafted constitution.
Last month, Prayut survived his fourth parliamentary vote of no-confidence, following public anti-government protests. Accusations of economic mismanagement, corruption and an inadequate response to COVID-19 further dampen his chances of re-election next year. Thailand’s long-term economic and political prospects will likely depend on whether Prayut would accept defeat at the ballot box. Whatever the outcome, the military will likely remain entrenched in parliament.