Ruling cuts the ground from under the opposition even before the debate comes before parliament on September 18th and bolsters the need for it to be held behind closed doors.
The Thai prime minister received a political boost today as the Constitutional Court threw out two complaints relating the oath-taking controversy due to be debated before parliament on September 18th next more than likely to be behind closed doors.
As opposition voices grow over the Captain Thammant controversy today, there was good news for the Thai prime minister on one front when the Constitutional Court threw out a complaint referred to it by the Ombudsman in relation to concerns raised that the prime minister and his cabinet did not fully recite the oath of office on July 16th when the new government was sworn in before the Thai King.
University student’s complaint referred to the court by the Office of the Ombudsman
The matter was raised by a student at Ramkhamhaeng University who claimed that a failure to recite the oath would infringe his constitutional rights on the basis that it could lead to Thailand being without a stable and functioning government. The action was taken under Article 213 of Thailand’s 2017 constitution.
The court also on Wednesday threw out a similar complaint filed by Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a leading member of the now-dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party.
Last sentence of the oath referencing the constitution omitted, claimed some opposition figures
The controversy which is soon to be debated before parliament stems from claims by the opposition that Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha omitted to complete the oath by leaving out the last sentence which committed him and his ministers to strictly abiding by the terms of the constitution.
Prime Minister has consistently defended himself
The PM has consistently claimed that there is no issue and that the oath was properly taken. Today, the Constitutional Court judges ruled unanimously that the matter was not an area the court could explore as it involved the executive and Thailand’s monarchy.
The parliamentary debate on the matter is set to take place on September 18th next and today’s judgment makes it more likely that the hearing or at least a portion of it, will be held behind closed doors as sensitive matters may emerge.
MPs warned about their comments during the debate
The chief government whip in recent days has warned members of parliament that during the course of the debate, they will not be protected by parliamentary privilege in relation to any comments that reference the monarchy.
Government leader and Deputy PM to field questions
It is expected that the Prime Minister, General Prayuth and Deputy Prime Minister and legal expert, Wissanu Krea-ngam will field questions from the opposition over the controversy. Today’s ruling, however, means that the legal pendulum on the matter has fallen squarely to the PM’s side.
On August 27th last, the King expressed moral support for the work of the government led by the prime minister.