Legal wrangle continues over Thai PM's status

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been suspended from his duties until the Constitutional Court rules on his tenure. It remains unclear exactly when that might happen.

The court last month accepted a petition from opposition parties asking for Prayut's term to be reviewed. The constitution limits a prime minister to eight years in office. The opposition says he assumed his position after a coup in 2014, meaning his term ended last month.

Prayut's supporters say his term actually began in 2017, when the current constitution came into effect. Others point to the 2019 general election as the starting point. The prime minister's side has submitted a document to support their claims, but the court is demanding additional evidence.

It issued a press release on Thursday saying it had ordered the House of Representatives to submit the minutes from the constitutional drafting committee when it discussed Prayut's tenure. The court plans to meet next Wednesday to consider the evidence.

The eventual ruling will have an impact on Thai politics, as public frustration is growing over the rising cost of living. The Prayut administration is losing popularity ahead of a general election expected by next year.