“Although Thammanat received a decision, it was from a court in New South Wales, Australia … but not a decision from a Thai court and therefore it is not forbidden to hold office on the basis of the constitution,” the ruling said.
Thammanat dismissed reports from two Australian newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, that he had been imprisoned there for four years on drug charges. Newspapers have stood behind their stories.
In a ruling on the appeal of 51
Thammanat said he was caught with flour, not heroin. However, he admitted that he had been convicted of an unspecified minor crime in Australia.
Thammanat participated in the formation of the coalition led by Prayuth after the 2019 elections, which saw him as prime minister, five years after he led a military coup against an elected government.
Since then, Prayuth has consolidated power, aided by the disqualification of the Constitutional Court of the opposition Future Forward party, a decision that sparked months of youth-led protests demanding his resignation and reform of the Thai monarchy.