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A Thai court will rule on Prayuth’s position as prime minister on September 30.

The opposition says his tenure began after he seized power in a coup in 2014, but his supporters argue otherwise.

Thailand’s constitutional court has said it will hand down its closely-watched ruling on September 30 on whether general-turned-politician Prayuth Chan-ocha can remain prime minister.

The prime minister should not serve for more than eight years.

The opposition brought the case in August, arguing that the time Prayuth spent in power after leading a 2014 coup should count towards the constitutionally mandated term limit. He took office as a civilian prime minister after elections in 2019 that were held under a military draft constitution.

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Prayuth, 68, has been suspended while the court hears the case and his deputy, Prawit Wongsuwan, has taken over as caretaker. He has been the Defense Minister.

Some of his supporters have argued that his eight years should be counted from 2017, when the new constitution came into force, or from 2019, when elections were held.

Protesters had been calling for Prayut’s departure for months and were back on the streets when the Constitutional Court decided it would hear the request and suspend the prime minister for a review period.

The protests, which have been ongoing since 2020, have included unprecedented calls for reform of the country’s powerful monarchy.

A pro-democracy protester in a pink silk dress, accompanied by a friend holding an umbrella over the protester's head, walks a mock red carpet at a Bangkok protest.
Jatuporn ‘New’ Saeoueng was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the Queen by presenting a fake red carpet at a demonstration in 2020. [File: Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP Photo]

Thailand maintains strict laws on lese-majeste and on Tuesday, an activist who wore a pink dress as she walked the red carpet in a mock fashion show staged during a protest was charged with blasphemy. On conviction, he was sent to jail for two years. Queen of the country

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Jatuporn ‘New’ Saeoueng wore a pink dress as she walked the red carpet at a rally that was a response to a fashion show organized by the king’s daughter.

Queen Sotheda is often dressed in elegant silk fashions on ceremonial occasions, with an attendant often holding a ceremonial canopy over her.

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