Oathgate Solution? Thai PM and cabinet to accept word of king in ritual

Photo: Government House
Photo: Government House

Six weeks after he omitted a pledge to defend the constitution when taking the oath of office, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha this morning was to perform a symbolic ritual today that observers see as an attempt to rectify the issue.

Prayuth and the members of his cabinet will assemble in front of a portrait of King Rama X at the Government House where they will take turns placing a written message from His Majesty onto a silver tray, according to a bulletin distributed to the media yesterday.

Whether Prayuth will restate his oath of office in full – as required by law – is a matter of speculation. His deputies have said it is an unrelated matter. Whether it is some new type of alternative oath-taking not laid out in the constitution has also not been established. The contents of His Majesty’s message were not disclosed.

Palace releases pics of His Majesty’s royal consort (Photos)

Opposition parties have moved to censure Prayuth in parliament for failing to take the oath as prescribed by the charter.

The state ombudsman was to rule on whether a complaint that Prayuth had violated the constitution by open government activist Srisuwan Janya had merit to be forwarded to the courts.

Note: Some aspects of this story have been self-censored due to Thailand’s strict royal defamation law.

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