Thai court to give verdict in PM, opposition party cases by September

Thailand's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin looks on during an interview with Reuters in Koh Samui

BANGKOK (Reuters) -Thailand's constitutional court should reach a verdict by September in two cases that could lead to the dismissal of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and dissolve the opposition Move Forward party, the court's president said on Monday.

The two high-profile cases have heightened political uncertainty in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which has struggled to recover since it was battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Constitutional Court President Nakharin Mektrairat told reporters rulings would be made by September.

Last month, the court announced that the next hearing date in the Move Forward case would be on Wednesday, while the complaint against the prime minister would next be heard on July 10.

Srettha, a real estate tycoon who entered politics with the ruling Pheu Thai party last year, faces potential dismissal over the appointment of a lawyer who was imprisoned for contempt of court to his cabinet. He denies the accusations.

Move Forward, which won last year's election but was blocked by conservative lawmakers from forming the government, was taken to court by the election commission over its campaign to amend Thailand's royal insult - or lese majeste - law under article 112 of the criminal code.

The party denies any wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Chayut Sethboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat;Editing by Ed Davies and Helen Popper)