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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Denies Resignation Rumors Amid Constitutional Court Battle

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at Government House, May 31.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, faced with swirling rumors of a premature exit, stepped into the limelight at Government House on May 31, denying any plans of resigning or dissolving the House of Representatives ahead of a critical Constitutional Court ruling. This ruling is tied to his controversial appointment of Pichit Chuenban as a PM’s Office minister, a move that has sparked significant debate.

“Resignation or dissolving the House has never crossed my mind. We should let the legal procedure unfold naturally. Running away is simply not an option,” Mr. Srettha asserted firmly on Friday. “When questioned by the judges, it is my obligation to explain matters clearly and to respect their decision.” He noted that his legal team has already submitted a list of additional witnesses to the court.

The complications arise from a petition filed by 40 senators back in May, requesting the Constitutional Court’s ruling on whether Prime Minister Srettha and Mr. Pichit should be removed from office under Section 170 (4) and (5) of the charter, clauses that govern the ethics of cabinet ministers. In a rather strategic move, Pichit resigned just before the court officially took on the petition, a gesture seen by many as an attempt to keep Mr. Srettha out of the legal crosshairs.

The court, however, opted to proceed with the case against Mr. Srettha while dropping the one against Pichit due to his resignation. All parties involved have been instructed to present their lists of witnesses and evidence by this Monday, with the case scheduled for hearing the very next day.

Potentially, Mr. Srettha could be ousted from his position if the court’s decision does not fall in his favor. However, his confidence received a notable boost with the appointment of Wissanu Krea-ngam, a well-regarded legal expert, as his adviser. Mr. Wissanu, stepping up to review the prime minister’s defence, meticulously checked both factual details and legal intricacies prepared by the prime minister’s secretariat and the Council of State.

Clarifying his role, the former deputy prime minister stated, “I did not draft the prime minister’s defence. Instead, I provided an in-depth review of the documents before their submission to the court on June 7.” This comment serves to assert the comprehensiveness and legality of the defence strategy being built.

The buzz around Pichit’s appointment comes from his colorful past. Formerly an adviser to both ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Mr. Srettha, Pichit’s eligibility for cabinet office was questioned due to his contempt of court conviction. In 2008, he served jail time over a scandal where he and two colleagues attempted to bribe court officials with 2 million baht in cash during a contentious land deal case involving Thaksin. The Supreme Court had handed them a six-month prison sentence on June 25 that year.

Meanwhile, Yuttaporn Issarachai, a political science lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, weighed in on the unfolding drama, emphasizing the potential seismic shifts in the political landscape. “The outcomes of these court cases could dramatically reshape the political scene,” Mr. Yuttaporn explained.

Should Mr. Srettha be removed from office, the parliament would need to elect a new prime minister, possibly leading to the formation of a fresh political coalition. Furthermore, should the main opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) face dissolution in a concurrent case, its members might scatter to different parties, thereby influencing new alliances within future coalition governments.

The Constitutional Court is set to hear the case against the MFP on Tuesday, and the verdict could precipitate the party’s disbandment, adding yet another layer of complexity to Thailand’s already tumultuous political scene.


  1. Joe June 14, 2024

    Sounds like Srettha is just trying to save face! How can we trust someone who appointed a convicted criminal to his cabinet?

    • Sara V. June 14, 2024

      You’re only seeing one side. Remember, politics is a game of strategy. He probably had his reasons.

    • Larry D June 14, 2024

      Appointing Pichit was a mistake, but the bigger issue here is whether the Constitutional Court is impartial.

    • Joe June 14, 2024

      Fair point, Larry D. But it still doesn’t justify appointing someone with a criminal record.

  2. politico_guru June 14, 2024

    The outcome of this case could indeed reshape Thailand’s political landscape. Wissanu’s involvement suggests that Srettha’s defense is strong.

    • Analyst123 June 14, 2024

      Wissanu may be good, but winning in court is never a sure thing. The court could still decide against Srettha.

    • grower134 June 14, 2024

      It’s all just political theater. The real power plays happen behind the scenes.

    • politico_guru June 14, 2024

      Indeed, but the legal proceedings will determine the immediate future. Long-term, you’re right, it’s all about power dynamics.

  3. Kathy T. June 14, 2024

    I can’t believe Pichit’s history. Thaïland deserves better than leaders who have criminal backgrounds. It just makes everything look so corrupt.

    • Mike P June 14, 2024

      You can’t expect politicians to be saints. The system itself is flawed.

  4. Jane June 14, 2024

    Is anyone even surprised that there are issues with cabinet appointments? Corruption is as old as politics itself.

  5. Tommy_K June 14, 2024

    What happens if Move Forward Party gets dissolved? Could that actually be good?

    • Amy L. June 14, 2024

      Without MFP, the opposition will be in disarray, but is that really good for democracy?

  6. Sophie June 14, 2024

    I think Srettha should just resign. It’s not worth the trouble for the country to go through all this turmoil.

    • John R. June 14, 2024

      Resigning now would only weaken his position further.

    • Sophie June 15, 2024

      Maybe, but at least it would bring some stability and avoid a drawn-out court case.

  7. Alexis June 14, 2024

    Why aren’t more people talking about the systemic issues like corruption and lack of transparency?

    • Phil W. June 15, 2024

      Because it’s easier to focus on individual scapegoats than to address deeply entrenched problems.

  8. Jim June 15, 2024

    Can we trust the Constitutional Court to be unbiased in its decision?

    • LegalEagle June 15, 2024

      Judicial impartiality is crucial, but it’s also under constant scrutiny, especially in politically charged cases.

  9. Catherine M. June 15, 2024

    If the court favors Srettha, does that mean corruption is being tolerated at the highest levels?

    • Henry K. June 15, 2024

      Or it could mean that he’s not guilty of the charges. We have to wait for the court’s decision.

  10. Liam S. June 15, 2024

    Honestly, this whole thing sounds like a soap opera. Politics in Thailand is always so dramatic.

  11. Ann B. June 15, 2024

    I feel like the media is just blowing this out of proportion. Maybe they should focus on more pressing issues.

  12. Rob June 15, 2024

    Why is Srettha holding on so tightly? If he has nothing to hide, stepping down temporarily shouldn’t be a big deal.

    • Eva G. June 15, 2024

      Leaders rarely step down willingly, especially when they believe they can win.

  13. Karen L. June 15, 2024

    I don’t think bringing in Wissanu Krea-ngam can fix a fundamentally flawed appointment.

  14. EconNerd June 15, 2024

    What are the economic implications if Srettha is forced out of office?

  15. Jeff June 15, 2024

    Doesn’t anyone find it suspicious that Pichit resigned just before the court took on the petition? Seems too convenient.

    • Mary S. June 15, 2024

      Definitely. It looks like a tactic to avoid dragging Srettha down with him.

    • Jeff June 15, 2024

      Exactly! And that’s exactly why people don’t trust the system.

  16. Steve H. June 15, 2024

    Anyone else feel like the court proceedings will just reinforce whatever political alliances are already in place?

  17. Monica June 15, 2024

    So if Wissanu didn’t draft the defense, who did, and can they be trusted?

  18. Divya June 15, 2024

    Is it possible that this is part of a larger plot to destabilize the government? Something doesn’t add up.

    • Oliver J. June 15, 2024

      Considering the history of Thai politics, anything’s possible.

  19. LawStudent June 15, 2024

    Regardless of the outcome, this case will set a legal precedent for future parliamentary appointments.

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