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Poll: Two-thirds of Thais want PM to leave office this month

Robert Besser
12 Aug 2022, 17:09 GMT+10

BANGKOK, Thailand: Amidst a growing debate about how long he should remain in power, an opinion poll showed that some two-thirds of those surveyed want Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the architect of the 2014 coup, to leave office this month.

Thailand's opposition plans to petition the constitutional court to decide whether Prayuth's time as prime minister in the junta counts towards his tenure as premier, which is limited to eight years.

The survey of 1,312 people, conducted from 2nd to 4th August by the National Institute of Development Administration, found 64 percent wanted Prayuth, 68, to leave office on 23rd August, exactly eight years after he became prime minister of a then-military government.

It also found that 33 percent of those surveyed would rather wait for a court ruling on whether Prayuth remains in office.

Meanwhile, this week reporters asked Prayuth about the opposition's move, and he replied, "It is a court matter."

Prayuth has faced many opposition actions to remove him from power, including four parliamentary no-confidence motions, a conflict of interest case over his use of a military residence and months of youth-led protests that challenged his leadership and the monarchy.

Prayuth was the country's junta leader and prime minister from 2014 until the 2019 election, when a new parliament chose for him to remain prime minister.

The retired general has given no indication of when the next election will take place, but according to the constitution, an election must be called within the next 10 months.

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