Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, suspended since August 24 while waiting to find out whether or not he can stay in power, will be determined on Friday, September 30 by the Constitutional Court.
The Court will say whether the leader, approved by the king on August 24, 2014 following a coup, has been caught by the limit set by the 2017 Constitution. Article 158 limits the duration of the term of the Prime Minister.
But it does not specify the starting point of the calculation, leaving a legal vacuum that Prayut Chan-O-Cha is trying to take advantage of.
Supporters of the 68-year-old former general put forward two favorable interpretations for the 68-year-old leader to remain in office.
A first reading takes 2017 as the triggering moment, i.e. the entry into force of the current Constitution.
Another 2019, a year of controversial elections that legitimized his power.
These methods would allow him to stay until 2025 or 2027, if he retains his post in the election scheduled for early next year.
His opponents, who launched the process in August to seize the Court, plead for the retroactivity of the Constitution and therefore believe that the former general reached the limit in August.
Prayut's deputy, Prawit Wongsuwan, took over as acting prime minister, while Prayut continued to serve as defense minister.
Napisa Waitoolkiat, a political scientist at Naresuan University (centre), expects the court to confirm the prime minister.
“There is a really good chance that he will survive
,” she told AFP.
But the episode of his suspension made him “
, which will be very detrimental to him, according to Thai culture.
Read alsoThai Prime Minister suspended: the Constitutional Court requests additional documents
Prayut was targeted during the large youth-led pro-democracy rallies that erupted in Bangkok in 2020 demanding his resignation and societal reform.
"I think there will be protests in the streets and demonstrations in Bangkok against the decision
", if it is favorable to Prayut, believes the political scientist.
Three groups of young protesters have already announced rallies.
National police deputy spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen said officers would be deployed to provide security near the court and in central Bangkok.
In November, Thailand will host world leaders at the APEC summit in Bangkok and the court's decision will remove any uncertainty as to who will host them.
The announcement is scheduled for 3 p.m. local time (0800 GMT).