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Brunei
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Brunei
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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    Suspended Thai prime minister ‘calm’ at Defence Council meeting

    THE STAR – General Prayut Chan-o-cha told the Defence Council not to worry about him being suspended as prime minister and urged everyone to focus on their duties.

    Despite pressure for him to also give up his Defence Ministry post, Prayut attended the Defence Council meeting on Thursday remotely via video teleconferencing.

    “The issue of General Prayut being suspended as PM by the Constitutional Court was not brought up at the meeting,” Defence Ministry spokesman General Kongcheep Tantravanich said.

    “General Prayut appeared to be calm and collected at the meeting. He told the council not to worry and that he would continue fulfilling his duties (as defence minister), and asked everyone else to do the same.”

    He said attending the meeting virtually was not out of the ordinary for Prayut because the practise had been adopted during the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

    An anti-government protester climb on a car beside a poster of Prayut Chan-ocha in Bangkok. PHOTO: AP

    The spokesman also insisted that Prayut was still the prime minister, and only his duties as prime minister had been suspended.

    “He is also still the defence minister and can sign any order issued by the ministry,” he said.

    Kongcheep added that the Defence Ministry would support every government, no matter who took on the prime minister’s job.

    On Wednesday, Constitutional Court judges voted 5:4 to accept a petition to deliberate on Prayut’s tenure and suspended him as prime minister until a verdict is issued.

    The court’s order automatically put first Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan in charge as caretaker prime minister.

    Opposition MPs invoked the Constitution’s Article 82 to launch a petition asking the court whether Prayut’s tenure should be deemed expired in line with the charter limiting a prime minister’s tenure to eight years.

    They insist that his tenure should be calculated from August 24, 2014, when he took over as prime minister after leading a military putsch to oust the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

    This means his tenure should have ended on August 23 this year.

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