BANGKOK (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha will remain in his post after the country's top court ruled on Friday that he has not exceeded the eight-year term limit.
The Constitutional Court ruled that his term as premier is not over, responding to a legal case brought to the courts by opposition lawmakers.
The former junta chief had been suspended from premier duties since Aug 24 while the court deliberated the matter.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who has been serving as Thailand's caretaker premier for the past month
The Pheu Thai Party had argued that Prayut had exceeded the tenure limit stipulated by the 2017 Constitution, which states that any prime minister cannot hold the post for more than eight years.
Prayut became prime minister in August 2014 after staging a coup and toppling the Pheu Thai-led government in May that year.
Pheu Thai argues that his tenure must include this period and that based on this calculation, Prayut's eight year team ended in August 2022.
It had asked the nine-judge court to rule on the term limit.
On Friday, there was heavy security around the Constitutional Court in anticipation of demonstrations following the verdict.
Pro-democracy groups have said that they would protest if Mr Prayut is allowed to continue his tenure, and have called for rallies around Bangkok's city centre.