Thailand: Confusion reigns in poll date debate

  • Political observers had noted that confusion over what the 150-day deadline on the election is has erupted following the enactment of the election law.
  • Chartchai Na Chiangmai, a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), clarified that the election must be held within 150 days of the last of the organic laws coming into effect.
  • To diffuse public criticism after a possible delay in election, Mr Chartchai further remarked that with the law governing the elections of MPs taking effect on 11 Dec 2018, the last possible election date within the deadline is 09 May.
  • The charter includes two sections which involve the election process, the first being Section 268 which requires the Election Commission (EC) to organise a poll within 150 days of 4 key organic laws related to elections being declared and Section 85 which requires the election outcome to be announced within 60 days of the election date.
  • Some critics had remarked that the law must be interpreted to explain if the election must be held or not so that the entire process will be finished by the deadline.
  • The Deputy Prime Minister stated that the EC will need to get the entire process to be completed by 9 May to avoid any legal issues.

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