By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha today (August 8) shrugged off sustained pressure for him to step down since his eight years in power maximumly provided by law might possibly end later this month.
Prayut who apparently is not going to step down anytime soon only advised the debatable issue surrounding his eight years in power be finally determined by the Constitutional Court and declined to make comments about it himself.
Neither did Prayut respond to his critics’ suggestion that he follow in the footsteps of the late statesman Prem Tinsulanonda who resigned in 1988 after he had assumed his premiership for eight years.
According to Prayut’s critics, the embattled premier will have finished his eight-year tenure by August 24, the date on which he orchestrated a coup as army chief and named himself an unelected prime minister in 2014.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam earlier dared those critics to file a petition for the Constitutional Court to pinpoint exactly when Prayut’s eight-year tenure maximumly provided by law will end.
The deputy premier in charge of legal affairs earlier said none of the Prayut cabinet members had had any question about it, thus leaving it to anyone who might wonder to ask the Constitutional Court to pass judgement on it.
Meanwhile, Thai Liberal party leader Seripisut Temiyavej commented today that Prayut might probably be held accountable for any decisions or commitments which he may make in a controversial capacity as head of government and that they might possibly be declared null and void at a later date if his eight-year tenure is finally determined to have already elapsed as of August 24.
Seripisut said any cabinet members other than Prayut himself might as well be held responsible if they continued to abide by the orders of Prayut’s allegedly unlawful premiership as of August 24.
Apart from Prayut, all cabinet members might possibly be held accountable for breaking the law given the possibilities of all their decisions, action and legal status in government being finally declared null and void, according to the Thai Liberal party leader.
In the meantime, the Pheu Thai-led opposition bloc has planned to file a petition with the Constitutional Court on August 16 or August 17 for a final ruling on Prayut’s eight-year tenure.
If the Constitutional Court declined to judge that Prayut may have finished his eight-year tenure assumed either consecutively or not by August 24, beginning from that date eight years ago when the then- army chief who headed a coup junta managed to name himself head of government, the unelected premier may be given three to five years to prolong his rule.
Prayut might possibly be legally allowed to assume the top government post until 2025 if his premiership is ruled by the court to have begun in 2017, the year in which the current constitution was promulgated.
Or else Prayut might possibly be legally allowed to stay in power until 2027, beginning in 2019, the year in which a previous general election was held, leading to his being named by Palang Pracharath Party as head of a post-election government.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, above, and Thai Liberal party leader Seripisut Temiyavej, Front Page. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: Workpointtoday.com