Thai junta denies election delay

Jan 4, 2017


Thailand’s ruling military government on Wednesday denied suggestions that a general election planned for this year would be postponed until mid-2018.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters there was no change to the junta’s roadmap to return the country to democracy and civilian rule with an election in late 2017.

The country has been under military rule since May 2014, when the army seized control after months of political turmoil and mass demonstrations.

Earlier this week, members of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) had suggested it would need at least 15 months to finalize new election laws, thereby pushing the planned polls back to mid-2018.

Army Chief Chalermchai Sittisart also said on Tuesday the lawmakers’ remarks were mere personal opinions which should not be taken as the NLA’s official stance.

However, other government officials said there was still a chance of a delay.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramutwinai on Wednesday told reporters the timeline might be “slightly adjusted” due to “changing political situations” about which he declined to elaborate. – DPA