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June 4, 2024

Thai Constitutional Court Will Deliberate Senators’ Petition Seeking PM Removal

thai PM
June 4, 2024

Thailand’s Constitutional Court, in a 6-3 vote, accepted a petition by a group of senators seeking to remove Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. The 40 senators said Prime Minister Srettha’s decision to appoint Pichit Chuenban as a cabinet minister was a serious violation of ethical standards under the constitution. Prime Minister Srettha narrowly dodged a suspension from his duties in a 5-4 vote, and the court gave him 15 days to submit his defense from when he was officially notified of the court decision.
Pichit had been previously sentenced to six months in jail for attempting to bribe Supreme Court officials while representing former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during his corruption trial. The senators argued that Pichit lacked the qualifications to be appointed a cabinet post. Pichit resigned from ministerial position on May 21, and the Supreme Court announced it will not further scrutinize Pichit in the case.
Prime Minister Srettha expressed his respect for the court decision and said that he is confident that he could prove his innocence and continue serving as prime minister. Despite Prime Minister Srettha’s optimism, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) president Kriengkrai Thiennukul warned that the Supreme Court's acceptance to hear the plea has undermined the confidence of Thai and foreign investors. He hopes for a speedy conclusion of the case so that the worries of the investors can be resolved as soon as possible. Highlighting the risks at stake, Kriengkrai cautioned that the trial outcome would affect all the government projects Prime Minister Srettha proposed during his foreign trips to secure foreign direct investment for Thailand.

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