The Thai Constitutional Court on April 23 decided to give caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra more time to prepare her defence against a charge of abuse of power.

Somrit Chaiwong, the court spokesman, said that the deadline for her case will be May 2.

The charge relates to the removal of National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri by Yingluck in 2011, which the opposition camp said was designed to benefit the PM’s ruling Puea Thai Party.

The case was filed by a group of 27 senators, who alleged that the replacement of the national security chief had violated the constitution.

If found guilty, Yingluck could be forced to step down.

Meanwhile, the PM is also facing an accusation of dereliction of duty from the country’s National Anti-Corruption Commission for ignoring warnings of corruption during the implementation of a rice subsidy scheme.

Experts say that any verdict that causes her resignation will increase tensions between government supporters and anti-government demonstrators.-VNA