PM Prayuth’s Case Verdict And Political Unrest : Stalemate Or Checkmate ?

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PM Prayuth’s Case Verdict And Political Unrest : Stalemate Or Checkmate ?
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PM Prayuth’s Case Verdict And Political Unrest : Stalemate Or Checkmate?

Written By - Patra Manas. 01-12-2020.

If the political situation in Thailand can be compared to a chess game, then the anti- government protesters, have opened their attack with never seen before moves, baffling and keeping many guessing as to what their real motives and intentions are.

 As the protests gained momentum, it has become increasingly clear that the movement is not only about restoring ‘true’ democracy but the protester’s ultimate target is the Monarchy akin to the ‘King’ on the chest board.

In view of this, PM Prayuth’s verdict on Wednesday has far reaching repercussions on the political situation and the next potential moves of the protesters.

Sompong Amornwiwat, opposition leader, has accused PM Prayut of violating Sections 184 and 186 of the constitution by residing at an official army residence, inside the First Infantry Battalion of Royal Guards on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road in Bangkok, after his retirement from the military at the end of September 2014. Sections 184 and 186 of the Constitution forbids a government minister from  “receiving any special money or benefit from a government agency, state agency or state enterprise apart from that given by the government agency, state agency or state enterprise to other persons in the ordinary course of business’.

The opposition leader accused the PM of also violatingSection 160 of the Constitution which states that “ A minister must not behave in ways that constitute a serious violation of or failure to comply with ethical standards.”

A violation of Section 160 can result in the termination of the minister’s ministerial post, according to Section 170.

The case was sent to the Constitutional Court by House Speaker Chuan Leekpai at opposition leader’s request and the court will rule on the case on Wednesday.

It is expected by majority of experts and academics that the court will rule in PM Prayuth’s favour.

Whichever way the verdict goes, it will have repercussions on the students movements.

If the court rules in favour of PM Prayuth

Protesters have already announced their intention that they will hold a rally outside the court on Wednesday to await the verdict. Continue Reading Below...

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If the court rules in favour of PM Prayuth, the verdict will embolden both protesters and PM Prayuth. Protesters will be emboldened by the fact that their accusation that the system is rigged will hold weight and push them to escalate the tempo of their protests. PM Prayuth will take the verdict as a stamp of approval on his legitimacy and will feel justified in introducing more measures to clear the protests. In short, the country will see the same stalemate situation that it is experiencing now, with no end in sight to the political crisis. The situation could slide precariously into violence at a near future point.

If the court rules against PM Prayuth

The situation would become immediately tense as the protesters would feel the ‘Queen’ would have been removed from the chess board leaving the ‘King’ exposed to a ‘checkmate’.

The protesters could potentially take advantage of this opening and increase their attack on the Monarchy, a goal that has been centre-focus in their recent protests.

Of course, the Monarchy is not completely vulnerable and has massive support in the country and many moves that can be implemented that could end up with the protesters being check mated instead.

The country could face an unprecedented scenario that could take Thailand through some massively turbulent times.

Whichever way the verdict goes, decreasing the stress and anxiety of the population regarding the political scenario is not on the cards.