The following is a weekly feature in which we highlight the top developing stories and those to watch taking place in Thailand over the next week.
This allows readers to be able to get clarity on the most important stories and some insight on what to expect over the next week in Thailand, Phuket, Pattaya, and Bangkok.
This week, we are covering August 28th, 2022 to September 3rd, 2022.
1. With Prayut Chan-O-Cha suspended when will the constitutional court make a decision on his term limit?
This is arguably the biggest story from last week and the biggest story to follow for the next week or three.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha was suspended last week by the Thai constitutional court to examine controversy over his term limit. We covered what this means in full here.
Prayut remains Defense Minister, however, and will continue to work in this role during the constitutional court decision making period. Prawit Wongsuwan is Acting Prime Minister at this time.
The decision surprised many commenters online, however, some social media netizens have stated that they still expect the constitutional court to eventually favor Prayut. That remain, of course, to be seen.
The core issue at hand is opponents of the government claim Prayut has reached his constitutional term limit of 8 years, having been in time since 2014. The government, however, says the current constitution was enacted in 2017 and that Prayut, who led a coup to take over the government, was not Prime Minister during his earlier years.
The debate was agreed to be taken up by the constitutional court who suspended Prayut as PM temporarily to debate the issue.
The Thai government says this will not create any power issues or lack of governance in the meantime, as we covered here.
For now, we wait and watch. There is no definitive timetable on how long the decision will be, with predictions from one week to two months. Whatever happens, new elections for PM are set for sometime before May of next year anyways. But many opponents of Prayut would prefer to see him out now.
As always, TPN will keep you updated on this and all other major stories. See you next week!