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Thailand prime minister to stay in office until 2025

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before the start of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 4, 2016. A court ruled he could stay in office until 2025. File Photo by Liu Ying/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1f2ab7ba8fa369196e85dcf990e4baf6/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrives before the start of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 4, 2016. A court ruled he could stay in office until 2025. File Photo by Liu Ying/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha will be allowed to stay in office through 2025 after the country's Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that his eight-year term in office started in 2017 and not when he took power in a 2014 coup.

Prayuth had been temporarily suspended from his duties to lead the country while the court hashed out when the term actually started. The court voted 6-3 that his term officially started in 2017 when Thailand's new constitution was adopted.

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A former military general, Prayuth was swept into office in a 2014 coup that removed Yingluck Shinawatra from office. Others had pushed for him to stay in office until 2027 in correspondence with the 2019 elections.

It was the latest act of political survival for Prayuth, who had survived a series of no-confidence votes and slumping public support.

"The past month has given me an opportunity to reflect and realize that I have to spend the government's precious time, which is limited, to push many important projects that I started," Prayuth said, according to Bloomberg.

When elections do come in 2025, Prayuth and his military-backed regime will face strong competition from the Thaksin Shinawatra, the brother of the ruler Prayuth replaced in 2014. Shinawatra's party has won the most seats in the Thailand legislature for 21 straight years.

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