Thailand on Track to End Military Rule in Nov 18 Election

  • Thailand said it remains on course for elections 2018 and that curbs on political parties will soon be eased, as pressure mounts on the military government to roll back restrictions on campaigning.
  • Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said in Oct 17 a vote will be held in Nov 18, though analysts are concerned the military will seek to retain power.
  • The party he unseated from government, Pheu Thai, in a statement last week said the military administration is trying to defer the election by stalling on allowing the return of campaigning.
  • Suvit Maesincee, the minister attached to Prayuth’s office architect of the so-called Thailand 4.0 policy that seeks to upgrade the economy, said political activity will be allowed “very soon,” while adding that parties need to break away from Thailand’s cycle of elections and coups.
  • Thailand’s economic growth is still recovering from the period spanning the unrest and coup more than three years ago, narrowing the gap with Southeast Asian neighbors.
  • The current stretch of military rule in Thailand is one of the longest since the 1970s, in a country with a history of army intervention since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

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