Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, in office for nine years, announced that will abandon politics. Prayuth is 69 years old, he is a former general and was among the soldiers who led a coup against the Thai government in May 2014: the announcement of his retirement from politics was widely expected due to the humiliating defeat of his party at the parliamentary elections last May, won by the opposition parties. He will remain prime minister until a new government is formed.
Prayuth Chan-o-cha, appointed prime minister in August 2014, had led a formally “civil” government since 2019, after elections widely contested by the opposition. During his tenure, he faced massive protests in 2020 against the Thai monarchy and against the government, accused among other things of repressing pro-democracy activists. Last August he was temporarily suspended from his post by the country’s Constitutional Court due to disputes over the length of his mandate brought forward by the main opposition party. The elections last May were won by the opposition parties: his party, Palang Pracharath, finished fifth, obtaining together with the other Thai party most closely linked to the army about 15 percent of the votes.
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