Thailand: Prayut refuses to set election date

  • The general election will take place after all election-related laws are promulgated, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on 6 Feb 18 after a mobile cabinet meeting in Chanthaburi. He was responding to a growing clamour for him to announce precisely when the poll will be held.
  • According to the constitution, an election must be held within 150 days of the four election-related laws being promulgated. The NLA forwarded the organic bills on the election of MPs and selection of senators to the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) and Election Commission (EC) to study, on 1 Feb 18. After examining the bills over the course of 10 days, the CDC and the EC will decide whether there are issues needing to be addressed.
  • Also on 6 Feb 18, CDC chairman Meechai Ruchupan said numerous amendments were made during the NLA scrutiny stage of the organic bills on the election of MPs and selection of senators. A key principle of the organic bill on the election of MPs is to ensure votes are cast secretly, justly and cleanly, Mr Meechai said.
  • He voiced concern about an amendment which allows others to cast votes on behalf of blind people. Another issue involves the NLA panel changing polling times from 8am-4pm to 7am-5pm, which would affect election staff, who would have to wake up at 3am to prepare polling stations, Mr Meechai said.

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