Thailand: Prayuth-Chan-O-Cha Suspended As Prime Minister

By Laurence Humphries, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 19 September,


On the 24th August 2022, Thailand’s constitutional court suspended Prayuth Chan-o-Cha as Prime Minister because under his own rules he had breached the eight year time Limit. He still remains defence minister but has handed over his responsibilities to his Deputy.

“Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has temporarily stepped aside as the country’s leader but remains its defence minister, according to a government spokesman. The unusual leadership reshuffle follows a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Thailand on Wednesday, which ordered Prayut to stand aside while it considers if he breached the eight-year term limit recently written into the constitution. Prayut took the role of prime minister after a military coup in 2014 before winning a controversial general election in 2019”. [1]

“Thailand’s Constitutional Court has suspended Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o cha from official duties, after deciding to hear a petition seeking a review of his legally mandated eight-year term limit. Though Prayut could be restored to his position when the court makes its ruling, his surprise suspension on Wednesday threw Thai politics into confusion” [2]

Prayuth Chan O Cha lost his case by 5-4 in the constitutional court. Bourgeois commentators consider it likely that he will win back his position as Prime Minister. Most of the appointees of the Court were on his recommendation.


Thailand: a bonapartist dictatorship


Thailand under the present leadership is drifting rapidly into a bonapartist dictatorship. The bourgeois government of Ying Luck Shinawtra was overthrown in a coup in 2014 led by Prayuth Chan O Cha who was an army General. In 2019 the Thai Theu party together with other bourgeois democratic parties effectively won the General Election of 2019.

It was only because of the new constitution framed by the military government that Prayuth Chan o cha and his right-wing allies were able to call on the Upper house which is appointed by the military government. With 250 appointed yes-men, Prayuth Chan O cha was able to become Prime Minister and rule Thailand. At the general election of 2019 the pro-democracy movement under the leadership of the Future Forward Party registered big support, but the government banned the party, arrested the leadership on trumped up charges and jailed anyone who sought to oppose Prayuth Chan o Cha and his bonapartist clique.

During the COVID 19 Counter Revolution with Lockdowns and restrictions of democratic rights the government of Prayuth Chan O Cha took on the appearance of a military dictatorship issuing decrees and failing to protect the population against the dangerous pandemic. Hospital and health facilities were in short supply and this led to many demands for Prayuth Chan o Cha’s resignation. The regime reacted with enormous military fire power against unarmed and defenceless young pro-democracy activists. Tear gas, water cannon and plastic bullets were used against demonstrators and activists who dared to challenge the Lockdown and their deprivation of basic democratic rights.

“Police have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon against protesters in Thailand’s capital Bangkok as demonstrators defied COVID-19 restrictions to call for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s resignation. The protests came on Sunday as the kingdom is currently facing its worst wave of COVID-19 infections, registering daily case records as hospitals buckle under pressure. Exacerbating the toll has been the government’s slow procurement of vaccines, which has drawn criticism as Thailand’s economy reels from increasingly severe restrictions on businesses. Defying rules banning gatherings of more than five people, protesters piled mock body bags flecked with red paint near the intersection of the capital’s Democracy Monument. We will die from COVID if we stay home, that is why we have to come out,” shouted a protest organiser, who listed three demands. “Prayuth Chan-ocha must resign without any condition; the second is a budget cut to the monarchy and army to be used against COVID, and the third is to bring in mRNA vaccine.” [3]


Role of monarchy in Thailand


The monarchy in Thailand has acquired most of the treasury which is spent on the King and his entourage. The King himself at the height of the COVID 19 Lockdown in Thailand was in a hotel in Germany with all his wife and his concubines. The masses have no right to criticise the monarchy whatsoever and face prison terms if any criticism is levelled at the monarch.

“A court in Thailand on Monday sentenced an activist to two years in prison for allegedly insulting the country’s queen by wearing traditional Thai attire at a demonstration for reform of the monarchy two years ago, a legal aid group said. Jatuporn “New” Saeoueng wore a pink dress while a fellow protester held an umbrella over her as she walked down a red carpet at a mock fashion show held in the street in downtown Bangkok on Oct. 29, 2020. The rally was billed as a counterpoint to a fashion show being held by Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, a daughter of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. Vajiralongkorn’s wife, Queen Suthida, dresses in elegant silk fashions for formal and public occasions. Members of the royal family have attendants often holding ceremonial umbrellas over them on such occasions”. [4].


For a revolutionary seizure of power in Thailand


The Prayuth Chan O Cha Regime has since 2021 locked up opponents banned parties, issuing decrees whenever they liked. This is not even a bourgeois government with some democratic pretensions but a dictatorial clique. The gamble of imperialist Governments to use the Pandemic as a means to stem democratic rights has affected many bourgeois capitalist governments like Thailand. Now with the war in the Ukraine and inter-imperialist rivalry between the Western Great Powers (U.S., Western Europe and Japan) and the Eastern Great Powers (Russia and China), it is clear that many capitalist and imperialist governments face a long winter of discontent including Thailand. The country had one of the strongest capitalist economies in South-East Asia before the pandemic, now it has declined very badly. The massive unpopularity of the Bonapartist government of Prayuth Chan o Cha has led to many protests and demonstrations in Thailand. Former members of the “Red Shirts” have been also drawn into the fight. These most fervent supporters of the former Thai Pheu party represent a militant section of the working class and the peasantry.

The RCIT advocates the following slogans.

* Overthrow the Prayuth-Chan-O-cha regime! Organize protests up to an indefinite general strike!

* For a sliding scale of wages in line with inflation wages should increase every time inflation rises to a new level!

* For a Sovereign Constituent Assembly under the control of the organized and armed popular masses! In such a constituent assembly revolutionaries would put forward and argue in favour of a workers and poor peasants government, based on councils of action!

* For armed defence guards of workers and the oppressed to protect themselves from provocations and attacks from the police, the military and fascist gangs!

* End the imperialist exploitation! Expropriate the multi-national corporations and put them under workers control! Abolish all debts without compensation! Summarize all banks into one State Bank under control of the workers!

* Only an armed insurrection led by the working class together with the poor peasants will solve the crisis of massive exploitation by Imperialism Go Forward to Socialism

We call on all workers and poor to study the manifesto of the RCIT and to join the RCIT! Let us build together a new World Party of the Socialist Revolution, a Revolutionary 5th International!



1) CNNThailand has suspended Prime Minister Prayut Chan O-cha. What happens next? | CNN

2) Court suspends Thailand’s PM Prayuth pending term limit review | Politics News | Al Jazeera

3) Police clash with protesters demanding Thailand PM’s resignation | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

4) Thai protester accused of mocking queen gets 2 years' prison - ABC News (