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Complaint filed against Thailand's new PM-elect

A complaint was filed on Friday (Aug 22) with the Constitutional Court, claiming that Prime Minister-elect Prayuth's appointment goes against the interim charter.

BANGKOK: Thailand's Army Chief and coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha is still awaiting royal endorsement for his appointment as Thailand's 29th prime minister. But before he can make the transition from army chief to prime minister, he may first have to address a challenge to his new position.

Despite sailing through a vote at the National Legislative Assembly where he was the only candidate for prime minster, the honeymoon period may be over for General Prayuth. A complaint was filed on Friday (Aug 22) with the Constitutional Court, claiming that General Prayuth's appointment goes against the interim charter.

"The Prime Minister should hold only one position. He should not remain as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO),” said Srisuwan Janya, chairman of the Thailand Constitutional Protection Organisation. “If he steps down, I think he would be seen as having more integrity in the eyes of the public, and the international community. I think that filing this complaint will benefit him, as people would not be able to accuse him of using his power to take the role of PM."

While this complaint is based on the law, analysts feel it is unlikely to affect General Prayuth's hold on the positions of Prime Minister and head of the coup council - the NCPO, as the interim charter has given the NCPO Chief power to suspend the actions of future governments.

The next step for General Prayuth will be the Royal Endorsement, which unusually will be a hastily carried out ceremony at the army headquarters on Monday. This goes against tradition, whereby all new prime ministers are formally endorsed at the royal palace, and may be viewed as a sign that General Prayuth is forgoing formalities, to get down to business. 

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