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Bid to stop Prayut from being PM

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Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks at the Asean Summit in Bangkok on June 22. Xinhua

BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – House Speaker Chuan Leekpai on Sunday said that it was incumbent upon him, as the House Speaker, to follow the law and forward a petition seeking a review of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha eligibility to be Prime Minister to the court, as with the cases against MPs who are accused of breaching the charter’s rule on shareholding in media firms.

The decision on the matter now rests with the charter court, Mr Chuan said.

The petition, signed by 101 MPs from seven opposition parties and submitted to Mr Chuan last month, wants the court to rule whether Gen Prayut’s status as the premier should be terminated under the constitution because he is a state official, in his capacity as National Council for Peace and Order chief, and therefore not eligible to hold the post.

However Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Sunday that the complaint related to the status and eligibility of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will not prevent him performing his duties as the next premier.

“There will be no suspension of duty as the complaint is about an interpretation of whether he was a government official [and ineligible for a ministerial post] or not; it’s not about law-breaking or corruption,” he said, adding it is different from the case of Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit which involves a different law.

The Constitutional Court on May 23 voted 8-1 to suspend Mr Thanathorn from performing his MP duties after it accepted a case against him concerning a media shareholding.

Meanwhile, a survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll, found that a majority, 60.6%, thought political confusion would get worse; 34.6% believed it would be the same as before; and 4.9% thought it would improve.

The poll was based on interviews with 1,215 people throughout the country conducted on July 3-6.

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