Thai junta now ‘promises’ free elections by February 2019

Thai PM promises national election by February 2019

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has made a new promise about the timing of the national election, pledging that it will be held by February next year, following the decision by legislators to delay enforcement of the organic MP election law.

“The election needs to be held by February 2019,” Prayut said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday.

“I also have no intention of not holding an election and staying [in power] longer,” he added.

The PM affirmed that a general election would be held within that timescale even though the entire recruitment process for the replacement of election commissioners needed to be rerun.

“There must not be any vacancies to affect the election,” he stressed. The premier’s promise of a general election by next February was the fourth time that the ruling junta had officially delayed the national poll since the originally designated timeline back in 2015.

However, there has been speculation of whether even holding an election by February 2019 is achievable since the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly last month decided to delay the MP election law’s enforcement by 90 days, effectively pushing back Prayut’s earlier promised period of November this year for the national poll. – ANN



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