Thai court agrees to hear case seeking PM's removal

Thai court agrees to hear case seeking prime minister’s removal

/ 04:27 PM May 23, 2024

Thai court agrees to hear case seeking PM's removal

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (R) greets Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at the Chigi Palace, Italy’s Prime Minister residence, in Rome on May 21, 2024. Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK — A top Thai court on Thursday agreed to consider a case seeking to oust Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin over his appointment of a cabinet minister with a criminal conviction.

The Constitutional Court accepted a petition to remove Srettha from office, which was submitted by 40 senators under ethics rules, but it rejected an application to suspend him from his duties as prime minister while it considers the matter.


The case centers on Pichit Chuenban, appointed as a minister in a recent reshuffle, who served six months in jail for a contempt of court conviction in 2008.


READ: New Thai leader Srettha Thavisin is a wealthy property developer who didn’t hide his political views

Pichit, a former lawyer with close links to billionaire ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, resigned from his cabinet role on Tuesday in a bid to protect Srettha.

Judges voted 6-3 to accept the petition and gave Srettha 15 days to respond to the case.

READ: Thai PM Srettha halts overseas travel for two months after criticism

The 250 current members of the Thai senate were appointed by the junta that ruled the kingdom after a 2014 coup.

An election to choose new senators will be held over three rounds next month.


The senate played a crucial role in determining the outcome of last year’s general election, blocking Pita Limjaroenrat, whose Move Forward Party won the most seats, from becoming prime minister.

Instead Srettha, of Thaksin’s Pheu Thai party, formed a coalition government with army-linked parties.

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TAGS: Politics, Thailand

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