Thailand PM Dissolves Parliament Ahead of May General Election

  • Thailand’s parliament was dissolved on Monday ahead of elections slated for May as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha seeks to extend nearly a decade of his military-backed rule.
  • The order dissolving the House of Representatives was endorsed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn and published in the Royal Gazette, just three days before the lower house was due to complete its four-year term.
  • The Thai constitution stipulates that polls must be held between 45 and 60 days after the dissolution of parliament. This means the polls will take place between 4 and 19 May.
  • Under the rules, the Election Commission must confirm the date of the election in a separate notification within five days, although it has initially penciled in polling for 7 May.
  • More than 52mn voters will elect 500 members to the lower house in a two-ballot system that will see 100 seats being allotted based on the proportion of votes that each party receives.
  • The dissolution grants the 68-year-old prime minister more time to campaign and recruit members to run for his new party. Allowing the lower house to complete its term would have barred some politicians who switched parties in recent weeks from contesting in the elections.

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