Thailand to hold election in Nov 18: Prayuth

  • Thailand will hold a general election in Nov 18, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on 10 Oct 17, the most precise date he has given yet for the vote since taking power in a 2014 military coup.
  • Prayut, head of the ruling junta, said the exact date would be announced in June 2018. The junta has announced election dates at least two times in the past, only to push them back later, citing concerns such as changes to the constitution and security issues.
  • The government has faced increasing pressure to lift a ban on political activities levied soon after the coup. Prayut will consider lifting the ban “at an appropriate time”, he told reporters, without giving details.
  • Some politicians expressed skepticism over the election date. “It isn’t really believable, because they have changed it many times,” said Chaturon Chaisang, a member of Thaksin’s Puea Thai Party.
  • Ong-art Klampaiboon, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, Puea Thai’s biggest competitor, welcomed the news. “The election date creates clarity,” Ong-art said. “This should be good for the country and the people.”

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