Thai court rejects lawsuits against PM Prayut's incomplete swearing-in

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (centre) and his 35 ministers pledged loyalty to the king as they recited the oath during a July 16 ceremony, but they omitted a phrase about upholding and complying with the Constitution.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (centre) and his 35 ministers pledged loyalty to the king as they recited the oath during a July 16 ceremony, but they omitted a phrase about upholding and complying with the Constitution.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (DPA) - Thailand's Constitutional Court on Wednesday (Sept 11) dismissed complaints against the country's prime minister and his Cabinet ministers for failing to recite the oath of office in full before taking their positions.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his 35 ministers pledged loyalty to the king as they recited the oath during a July 16 ceremony, but they omitted a phrase about upholding and complying with the Constitution.

The oath is required under Article 161 of Thailand's Constitution, which includes the complete oath and states that it must be said to the king before ministers take office.

The omission led to several complaints being lodged against Mr Prayut and his ministers for allegedly breaching the Constitution.

The judges dismissed two complaints. They refused to accept a complaint filed by the ombudsman because the oath of office was a "political issue", a statement by the court said.

Additionally, King Maha Vajiralongkorn had issued a letter, which signalled his approval of the government ministers, and therefore the issue was not under the court's jurisdiction, it added.

The court also dismissed another complaint filed by an opposition politician because it deemed that the matter was not a threat to Thailand's constitutional monarchy as claimed.

Mr Prayut was the leader of a military junta that seized power in 2014 and was nominated to continue his role as prime minister after an election in March.