11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet ministers have been granted an audience before an image of His Majesty the King at the Government House on Tuesday morning to accept the King’s July 16th written message.

According to a circular, distributed to all cabinet ministers, the audience at Government House at 9am Tuesday is related to the cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony on July 16th at the Amporn Throne Hall in the Dusit Palace.

According to the official schedule, the Prime Minister and his cabinet will stand in front of the King’s picture as the secretary-general of the cabinet, Mr. Thirapong Wongsivavilas, reads a report. After that, the Prime Minister will raise the lid of a Krathong of flowers and candles placed in front of the King’s image.

Then officials will place the King’s written message on a ceremonial salver in front of the image, followed by the Prime Minister accepting the written Royal message and then placing it back on the salver. The rest of the cabinet will repeat the same process one by one. After that, all of them will pay respects before the King’s picture to complete the ritual.

The scheduled audience in front of the King’s image has fueled speculation that the Prime Minister will repeat his oath following his incomplete recital of it on July 16th.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngarm dismissed the speculation, saying that the audience on Tuesday is not about repeating the oath, but about receiving an official written message from the King, which was delivered during the swearing-in ceremony at the Amporn Throne Hall on July 16th.

He declined, however, to comment on whether the audience tomorrow will affect the Opposition’s motion to censure the Prime Minister over his incomplete recital of the oath, which the Opposition has interpreted as unconstitutional.

In the meantime, the ombudsman is due to issue its ruling on the matter of the oath on Tuesday afternoon, in response to the petition filed by political activist Srisuwan Janya.