BANGKOK, May 7 – Thailand’s Constitutional Court today ruled that caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was guilty and had abused her power in transferring out National Security Council (NSC) chief Thawil Plensri in 2011, and therefore would have to step down. Yingluck could no longer stay in her position as caretaker prime minister, said the court. It stated that the transfer decision was hasty, not transparent, unethical, not in the national interest and unconstitutional.
The decision also means that nine other cabinet members who were involved in making the decision will lose their positions as well, including caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Kittirat Na Ranong, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul. The majority of the cabinet members, however, still retain their posts as Thailand’s cabinet has 25 members. Yingluck was not in court and had chaired a special cabinet meeting. The case is set to raise political tension in the country with the pro-government supporters having announced that they would oppose her removal.