The top court of Thailand on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down from his office until a final verdict is issued on his 8-year term and designated Deputy Premier Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan as the acting prime minister.
The Constitutional Court, by a vote of five to four, asked the former military general-turned-chief executive to “cease his role temporarily,” the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (World) reported.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the opposition against Chan-o-cha’s continuation as prime minister after his 8-year term had “expired.”
Chan-o-cha did not attend the office on Wednesday as demonstrators gathered outside the Government House urging him to step down. Instead, he was working from home.
The former Thai military commander launched a coup in 2014 before becoming the premier.
A total of 171 opposition lawmakers signed the petition to oust him.
However, there are other voices that argue Chan-o-cha’s term ends in 2027 as the June 2017 constitutional charter stipulated the eight-year term, thus his current term begins from that year and not 2014.