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Suspended premier General Prayut Chan-o-cha submitted a 30-page statement to clarify his premiership term limit to the Constitutional Court, his legal team said.
The content submitted for clarification is believed to be complete with all issues according to the complaint filed said Vira Rojchanawaad, Prayut’s adviser and head of the legal team.
The Constitutional Court suspended Prayut’s PM duty on August 24, pending their verdict on his term 8-year term limit.
The juntas-drafted 2017 constitution stipulates that a premier cannot stay in power for more than 8 years.
Opposition parties filed a petition to ask the court to rule on the term limit because they believe that his term limit already ended since August 24.
They said his premiership term should be counted from August 2014 which was 3 months after the coup that he led before he was royally endorsed as premier under the previous interim charter.
However, his supporters say it should either be counted from April 2017 when the current charter came into effect, or from June 2019 when he was royally endorsed as a civilian premier.
Gen. Prayut had 15 days to provide his statement to the court, but it only took his legal team 8 days to submit the 30-page statement.
The next step after the court considered Prayut’s response is to hear opinions from experts.
The court already asked for opinions from drafters of the 2017 charter, including the former chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) Meechai Ruchuphan and former CDC secretary Pakorn Nilprapunt.
Following the court’s request, opposition parties on Wednesday submitted a request for the court to hear from other experts besides the 2 former junta-appointed officials as well.
They proposed for the court to consider comments made by a group of 51 law lecturers from 15 universities who believe that Prayut’s already ended since August 24.
They have also submitted records of interviews by Chulalongkorn University’s lecturer Ponson Liengboonlertchai and Thammasat University’s lecturer Somlak Chatkrabuanpon for the court to consider.
The leader of the opposition Cholnan Srikaew told Thai Enquirer this week that he expects the court to make its verdict within September, despite adding the number of expert opinions that the court should hear from.
Deputy Prime Minister in charge of legal affairs Wissanu Krea-ngam also said earlier this week that he does not expect the court to take a long time to provide its verdict on this issue because there is no witness examination in this case.