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Thai PM Prayut acquitted of ethics breach, retains post

Thai PM Prayut acquitted of ethics breach, retains post

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks during a news conference after a Cabinet meeting at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand on Sep 22, 2020. (File photo: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

BANGKOK: Thailand’s highest court on Wednesday (Dec 2) acquitted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of breaching ethics clauses in the country’s constitution, allowing him to stay in his job.

The Constitutional Court ruled on a complaint brought by the Pheu Thai party, the largest opposition grouping in Parliament, that Prayut had broken the law by continuing to live in his military residence after he retired as army commander in September 2014.

READ: Thai court fires warning ahead of ruling on PM Prayut's army residence case

The complaint alleged that he broke constitutional articles barring government ministers from receiving special benefits from state agencies or enterprises because that would amount to a conflict of interest. 

If a minister is found guilty of violating ethical standards, the official is to be disqualified and forced to step down.

READ: Thai protesters march to barracks against king's military power

READ: Thai protesters move to Bangkok suburbs

The ruling comes as Prayut has been dealing with a persistent student-led anti-government movement that has been holding frequent well-attended rallies demanding that he and his government step down, charging that they came to power illegitimately.

Source: AP/kv

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