Thailand could hold election 19 months after new charter takes effect

A general election in Thailand could only be held 19 months after the new constitution, approved by the majority of voters in a referendum last August, took effect, said Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, Vietnamnews reported from Bangkok.

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam (Photo:bangkokpost.com )

He said the roadmap to the next election would start counting when the new charter was promulgated.

The draft constitution was submitted for royal endorsement in early November, and King Rama X has 90 days, or until early February, to make decision.

After it comes into force, the 10 organic laws required under the new charter would have to be completed within 240 days. The organic laws also need 90 more days for royal endorsement before they could be enacted, the Deputy PM said.

Thailand would enter the election mode after the new laws were promulgated, he noted, adding that the next election must be held within five months after that.

Earlier, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said the election might be held in early 2018.

Meanwhile, some political parties in Thailand criticised PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the junta for changing the roadmap for restoring democracy, which could delay the election until September 2018.

They said the National Legislative Assembly had not been working efficiently and effectively in approving organic laws since the draft new constitution was approved.

Samart Kaewmeechai, a former parliament member of the Pheu Thai party, said the current administration should take any necessary steps in order to make an election possible.

He said politicians were ready and everything now depends on PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the junta.

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