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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin Faces Potential Ousting Amid Controversial Cabinet Appointment – Key Hearing on June 18

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, seen in a recent snapshot waving off questions at Government House in Bangkok on May 31, is facing a pivotal legal challenge. Mark your calendars for June 18, as the Constitutional Court is set to hear a case that could potentially unseat him. This case revolves around a cabinet appointment that has raised eyebrows and allegations of constitutional violations.

This whirlwind of political drama began when 40 military-appointed senators lodged a complaint against Mr. Srettha back in May. The crux of the complaint? The controversial appointment of politician Pichit Chuenban as a PM’s Office minister. The ensuing legal tug-of-war, now accepted by the charter court, has placed the prime minister in a precarious position.

The senators have invoked Section 170 (4) and (5) of the constitution, pertaining to the ethical conduct of cabinet ministers. Their argument is straightforward: both Mr. Srettha and Pichit should be shown the exit door. But who exactly is Pichit Chuenban? Well, buckle up!

In 2008, Pichit was sentenced to six months behind bars after a failed attempt to bribe Supreme Court officials with a staggering 2 million baht cunningly hidden inside a lunch box. Given this history, critics have been vocal, deeming him unfit for a cabinet role. In a strategic move, Pichit resigned just before the court took up the petition, presumably to shield Mr. Srettha from further legal trouble. The court, however, decided to proceed only with the case against Mr. Srettha, logically waiving the one against Pichit following his resignation.

🚨 Related: Srettha blames court cases for stock exchange decline 🚨

As if one political tempest is not enough, the Constitutional Court’s docket for June 18 is double-booked. The court is also scheduled to tackle a case threatening to dismantle the opposition Move Forward Party (MFP). This isn’t just any routine dissolution case; it’s loaded with high stakes and profound implications.

The Election Commission (EC) filed a petition in March urging the court to dissolve Move Forward. This came in response to a court opinion from January 31st, which flagged the party’s mission to amend Section 112 of the Criminal Code—the notorious lese majeste law. This law, in essence, criminalizes actions deemed disrespectful to the monarchy. The court’s opinion suggested that such aims could undermine Thailand’s constitutional monarchy, giving the EC grounds to argue that Move Forward has violated Section 92 of the organic law on political parties. This section grants the court authority to dissolve any party perceived as a threat to the monarchy’s sanctity.

🔥 Related: Move Forward argues charter court has no power to dissolve it 🔥

You can feel the tension in the air as these dramatic legal proceedings unfold. And the thrill doesn’t stop here. June 18 also marks the return of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to the judicial limelight. Having been paroled, Thaksin is slated to face prosecutors over charges of insulting the monarchy.

The Attorney General, on May 29, made waves by announcing his intention to indict Thaksin under Section 112 of the Criminal Code coupled with computer crime charges. The charges stem from an evocative interview Thaksin gave to a Korean newspaper on February 21, 2015.

As the political landscape of Thailand braces for the impact of these high-stake court cases, one thing is undeniable: June 18 is set to be a critical juncture, potentially altering the nation’s political narrative. Whether it’s Prime Minister Srettha’s fate hanging in the balance, the potential disbanding of the formidable Move Forward Party, or Thaksin Shinawatra’s courtroom confrontation, Thailand is in for a seismic shake-up. Sit tight; this is political theater at its finest!


  1. Sophie L. June 12, 2024

    This whole situation just underscores the current instability in Thai politics. How can a convicted criminal like Pichit Chuenban even be considered for a cabinet position?

    • A. Razak June 12, 2024

      It’s all about connections and power in politics. If you’ve got the right allies, even a criminal record can’t stop you.

      • Sophie L. June 12, 2024

        That’s exactly the problem. It undermines public trust in the government.

      • Markus June 12, 2024

        Political corruption is a global issue, not just a Thai problem. The U.S. and Europe have had their fair share.

    • W. Kato June 12, 2024

      Agree with Sophie. How can we expect any progress if we tolerate such blatant disregard for ethics?

  2. grower134 June 12, 2024

    The move against the Move Forward Party is clearly politically motivated. They just want to squash dissent and maintain the status quo.

    • Elena June 12, 2024

      Totally! It’s their way of silencing opposition. But the question is, will the people let it happen?

    • AntiMFP June 12, 2024

      Move Forward is dangerous to the stability of the nation! They need to be stopped before they do irreparable damage.

      • grower134 June 12, 2024

        Dangerous to whom? The monarchy or the people in power? They’re speaking up against outdated laws, and that’s not a crime.

        • Elena June 12, 2024

          Exactly. Reform is necessary, and it’s not fair to label reformists as threats.

  3. Kevin T. June 12, 2024

    The judiciary in Thailand seems too intertwined with politics. Can we even expect a fair outcome on June 18?

    • J.T. June 12, 2024

      Given the history, I’m skeptical. The courts have often been used to settle political scores.

    • Miranda June 12, 2024

      If the court sides with Srettha, it will appear biased. If they don’t, it may still seem like a political maneuver. It’s a no-win situation.

  4. Anurak S. June 12, 2024

    Thaksin’s return just adds more fuel to the fire. Why can’t he just stay out of the spotlight?

    • Sue June 12, 2024

      Because he still has a significant support base. Like it or not, he’s a major player in Thai politics.

      • Anurak S. June 12, 2024

        Support base or not, his legal issues detract from the real issues Thailand faces.

  5. T. Nguyen June 12, 2024

    What happens on June 18 could set a dangerous precedent for the future. Politicians using courts to battle each other is alarming.

    • Missy P. June 12, 2024

      True, it’s a slippery slope. When the legal system becomes a political weapon, democracy suffers.

      • T. Nguyen June 12, 2024

        Exactly. We all should be concerned about the implications beyond just this one case.

    • Jonas88 June 12, 2024

      But isn’t that how politics has always been? Power struggles are inevitable.

  6. Asma J. June 12, 2024

    The real irony here is that Pichit resigned, yet it’s Srettha who remains in hot water. Talk about unfair!

    • Davis June 12, 2024

      It’s a classic political maneuver. By resigning, Pichit hoped to deflect the heat, and it sort of worked.

  7. L. Williams June 12, 2024

    I’m curious to see how the stock market reacts to this. Political instability always has repercussions.

  8. K. Ratchapol June 12, 2024

    As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with COVID-19 and economic issues, now we have this political circus.

  9. Julia K. June 12, 2024

    Section 112 is outdated and should be amended. Calling for its reform shouldn’t be grounds for dissolving a party.

    • Pakahjai June 12, 2024

      It’s a sensitive issue, but I agree reforms can be made to reflect the modern era without disrespecting traditions.

  10. Tom June 12, 2024

    Surely, this is just part of a cyclical pattern in Thai politics? We see these kinds of allegations, oustings, and legal battles every few years.

  11. Cherry June 12, 2024

    Why do we even have military-appointed senators? It sounds like a recipe for corruption and lack of accountability.

    • S.P. June 12, 2024

      That’s because the military wants to keep a grip on power. Removing them would be a step toward real democracy.

  12. raj_deep June 12, 2024

    Move Forward Party pushing for Section 112 reforms is a breath of fresh air. It’s high time someone had the courage to address it.

    • Clark June 12, 2024

      But at what cost? They risk getting dissolved, and the political repercussions could be severe.

  13. Carlo June 12, 2024

    I can’t believe we still use laws that criminalize free speech. Move Forward is on the right track, even if it’s risky.

  14. Amara June 12, 2024

    Let’s face it, Thai politics has always been a battleground. This latest scandal won’t change that.

  15. Simon D. June 12, 2024

    What surprises me is how resilient Thai people are. Despite all the chaos, they remain hopeful and strive for a better future.

  16. David H. June 12, 2024

    June 18 could be a turning point, or just another day in the chaotic landscape of Thai politics. Let’s wait and see.

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