Prime Minister Prayuth cleared: As a former general he can live in an army house
Many Thais hoped the Constitutional Court would remove him from office. Living at an army house goes against the constitution, but it is allowed by army rules. Thailand’s “civilian” government actually depends on the military.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand’s Constitutional Court has cleared Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of charges of violating certain ethical clauses and so he will continue to rule the country.
Thailand’s main opposition party, Pheu Thai, filed a complaint against the former general for living at an army house even though he retired from military service in 2014.
Under the 2017 constitution, a government minister cannot receive benefits from state agencies or private companies to avoid conflicts of interest.
Prayuth is suspected of entering politics after retiring in September 2014 to become prime minister of a pro-military party, following the coup d'état he led in May 2014. year.
The Court acknowledged an army rule according to which a senior military officer who has served his country well and who continues to serve it can occupy a military residence and enjoy various benefits such as paid utilities and maintenance.
This rule has been in place since 2005 and other former generals have enjoyed the same perks.
The Pheu Thai Party and the youth-dominated pro-democracy movement – who continue to demonstrate against the privileges of the military and the king – had hoped that the court might rule against Prayuth forcing him to resign.
As a consolation, pro-democracy activists now can say that that Prayuth’s “civilian” government is in reality still led by the military.