Thai Elections in November 2018, Prayuth Promises

  • Thai Elections in November 2018, Prayuth Promises

Thai Elections in November 2018, Prayuth Promises

It is clearer now, " Gen Prayuth told reporters at Government House.

Thailand's military government has announced the country will hold a general election in November 2018. When including extra time for amendments to the bills, the election date should be able to be settled by next June, the spokesperson said.

The decision comes more than a year after Prayut's initial promise to hold elections this year.

Thailand's military seized power in 2014 and has postponed several deadlines for elections, citing national security concerns and the need to pass new election laws.

Expectations have mounted that once King Bhumibol is laid to rest later this month, calls for the military to relinquish power would grow.

Prayut travelled to the USA earlier this month to meet President Donald Trump at the White House - an encounter he was denied under Barack Obama's administration.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand, which had been riding a 23-year-high and briefly hit 1,700 earlier this month, rallied on the news, surging to 1,705 with an hour left to trade.

Prayuth said the junta will consider lifting a ban on political activities but not until after late October, when Thailand holds an elaborate five-day funeral for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died almost a year ago.

That unexpected announcement caused a commotion back in the kingdom, where Prayut initially rowed back and said only that a specific date would be announced in 2018.

Thailand's last general election was in 2011.

The military claimed the new charter, Thailand's 20th, will purge Thailand of corrupt civilian politicians and restore stability after almost a decade of political turmoil including two coups.

"Around June 2018, we will announce an election date", he said.

He also said that Trump did not ask about political developments during their encounter. This prompted confusion over the road map and the coming election.

The organic law on political parties took effect on Sunday after it was royally endorsed and published in the Royal Gazette the previous day. The NCPO should consider easing political restrictions to at least allow parties to hold meetings to select party executives, he said.