Convicted Pheu Thai MP Nawat Tohcharoensook has been suspended from performing duties as a member of parliament by the Constitutional Court, pending a ruling on his parliamentary status.

The Constitutional Court’s suspension order, which was released today, deals a blow to the Pheu Thai party’s efforts to seek Mr Nawat’s release from prison to attend the debate on budget this week.

The Opposition needs all of their MPs in the vote on the bill to have any chance of defeating the Government, assuming the smaller parties in the governing coalition vote against the budget bill or abstain.

Previously, the Election Commission (EC) asked the Constitutional Court to disqualify Mr. Nawat as an MP, in accordance with Sections 82, 101 (6) and 98 (6) of the Constitution, following his murder conviction and death sentence in the Khon Kaen Provincial Court. The MP was immediately imprisoned and his request for bail was denied by the Region 4 Appeals Court.

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