Thailand’s Constitutional Court accepted complaints against the prime minister and two opposition party leaders Friday in cases that could disqualify them from office.
The court said it has accepted a complaint against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha sent by 110 members of Parliament who seek his disqualification because he held another government position as junta leader.
The court also said in the statement that it accepted complaints against two leaders of the Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkannokul, who are accused of attempting to overthrow the constitutional monarchy.
The court allowed the defendants 15 days to submit their arguments but did not indicate when it would rule.
The courts in Thailand have regularly ruled in favor of the conservative establishment that includes the military.
Continue reading Associated Press
Having trounced the military’s proxy at the polls in March, Thailand’s pro-democracy parties may very well have formed the country’s next government by now were it not for the new Constitution the military drafted after seizing power in 2014.
Instead, coup-leader Prayuth Chan-ocha secured a second term as prime minister thanks to a Senate wholly appointed by the junta and empowered for the first time by the new charter to join the popularly elected lower house in voting for the premier.
Now relegated to the opposition, those anti-junta parties have made amending the Constitution their top priority.
“We are talking about restoration of democracy here. Without amending the Constitution, there will be no full restoration to democracy in this country,” said Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward party.
Continue reading VOA: Thailand’s Opposition Parties Aim to Amend Pro-Military Constitution
“Being an MP is not everything. Even if I am removed as an MP, Thanathorn is still the Future Forward party leader and a candidate for the prime minister’s post. Thanathorn will continue to work for changes to happen in Thailand,”
Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, referring to his suspension form performing duties as an MP, pending the court’s final ruling, in his interview with the VOA Thai released on 15th July 2019.
Source Thai PBS World
A Thai court said Wednesday it would let 32 pro-military lawmakers keep their seats while it decides whether they violated election rules, in a decision criticized as unfair because the court earlier suspended an opposition leader over a similar allegation.
The Constitutional Court agreed to rule on a complaint that the 32 members of a coalition that elected 2014 coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister earlier this month had violated a prohibition on lawmakers holding shares in media companies. But it dismissed allegations against nine others, citing lack of evidence.
The court earlier suspended the leader of the anti-military Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, from Parliament until it rules in his case. It said it did not suspend the pro-military lawmakers because the complaints against them had not been filed and processed by an investigative committee.
Continue reading Houston Chronicle: Thai court lets pro-army lawmakers keep seats during probe
The Constitutional Court has accepted a petition by the Future Forward Party against 32 MPs out of 41 for holding shares in media companies, but they are not suspended as MPs.
The Constitutional Court says 32 MPs accused of holding shares in media companies must respond within 15 days. 20 are from the Phalang Pracharat Party, 9 from the Democrat Party, and 1 each from the Action Coalition for Thailand, Chart Pattana, and Prachaphiwat parties. The other 9 MPs, 6 from Phalang Pracharat and 3 from the Democrats, have been dismissed from the case.
The petition was filed by the Future Forward Party as retaliation after Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the party’s leader, was accused of holding shares in V-Luck Media Co. – an act which, under Section 98 of the 2017 Constitution, prohibits him from running for election as an MP and could result in the termination of his MP status, according to Section 101. His MP status was also suspended by the Court as requested by the Election Commission.
Continue reading Prachatai English: Court accepts petition against 32 MPs, no status suspension
Thailand’s new parliament confirmed military junta leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha as civilian prime minister on Wednesday, five years after he seized power from an elected government while he was army chief.
The 500-244 vote came after a March 24 general election that opposition parties say was designed to extend and legitimize military dominance over government.
After a marathon day of debate, the now-retired army chief secured the 375 votes needed to become premier in a combined ballot by both houses of parliament, one of which was entirely appointed in a process controlled by the junta.
Prayuth – who was not present for the vote – easily defeated Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, a charismatic political newcomer who was nominated by the opposition Democratic Front, which comprises seven parties that want to remove the military from politics.
Prayuth will now lead an unwieldy 19-party coalition government that has a slim majority in the lower House of Representatives, but could be vulnerable to defections and infighting.
Opposition lawmakers argued for hours that Prayuth was unfit for office.
“He (Prayuth) came to power in a coup, then comes in and completely changes the rules and conditions that allows him to stay on and transform himself into a prime minister candidate,” said Chonlanan Srikaew of the opposition Pheu Thai party.
Continue reading Reuters: Parliament confirms Thai coup leader Prayuth as prime minister
The Pheu Thai Party and its anti-regime alliance have narrowed down their list of candidates for prime minister to Chadchart Sittipunt and Chaikasem Nitisiti, a party source said on Wednesday.
The source said key leaders of the seven-party bloc led by Pheu Thai agreed on Tuesday to settle on the two names, after Suradat Keyuraphan confirmed that she will not run for the premiership.
The name of Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was also discussed during the meetings on Monday and Tuesday, but his name was dropped due to concern about possible legal problems, the source added.
Mr Thanathorn was ordered by the Constitutional Court to temporarily step down from his MP duty after it accepted a case against him over a shareholding in V-Luck Media Co on Thursday — a case that could lead to his disqualification.
Pheu Thai and its allies held talks on Monday and settled the issue in another meeting on Tuesday.
Continue reading Bangkok Post: Anti-coup alliance picks Chadchart, Chaikasem for PM