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Thailand's military-backed regime braces for another legal time bomb

End to Senate participation in election of PM could lead to change of power

A protester takes a selfie next to a picture of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in Bangkok on Aug. 24, when Thailand's top court suspended the premier from official duties.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prayuth Chan-ocha has resumed his official duties as Thailand's prime minister after the country's top court ruled last month that he had not reached his eight-year term limit. After surviving the legal challenge from the opposition, Prayuth threw himself into dealing with devastating floods and a nursery massacre in northeastern Thailand. But the real challenge lurks in a limited-time clause in the constitution that could unseat him or his military-backed successor from office when it expires.

Prayuth was suspended from his duties on Aug. 24 after the opposition filed a petition, claiming that he had stayed in office beyond a term set by the constitution, but the Constitutional Court ruled Sept. 30 that the prime minister can stay in the post.

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