Thai PM wins crucial legal battle to stay in office
BANGKOK, Dec 2: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, under pressure from months of street protests, survived a legal challenge on Wednesday over his living arrangements that could have seen him thrown out of office.
The kingdom's nine-judge constitutional court ruled that Prayut was not guilty of conflict of interest by living in an army residence after leaving the military.
"The status of General Prayut Chan-O-Cha as prime minister and defence minister remains unchanged," the head judge said.
The court ruled that Prayut's status as prime minister entitled him to live in the house even though he stepped down as army chief in 2014.
After the verdict, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said Prayut was "working as usual and following his official schedule as normal".
The ruling, though widely expected, is likely to inflame the protest movement that has shaken Thailand since July calling for Prayut, who came to power in a 2014 coup, to quit. -AFP