Royal decree for election published, EC must set date

Royal decree for election published, EC must set date

The royal decree calling for a general election, as published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday.
The royal decree calling for a general election, as published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday.

His Majesty the King on Wednesday issued a royal decree for a general election, which took immediate effect, and the Election Commission can now set a date for the polls.

The decree, countersigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday, requires that the chairman of the Election Commission implement it.

The EC is authorised by law to set the polling date and required to set the date within five days of the royal decree being published in the Royal Gazette.

Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said March 24 would be a suitable date, as it would give enough time for election campaigning.

Under the constitution, the general election must be completed within 150 days of the organic law governing the election of MPs taking effect, which occurred on Dec 11, which is by May 9.

The last general election was on Feb 2, 2014, after former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the House on Dec 9, 2013, amid anti-government protests against moves to absolve her elder brother and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of former and pending legal cases.

Protesters blocked the election at some constituencies and the Constitution Court later ruled the 2014 election unconstitutional because in many electorates polling was not possible on the stipulated day. 

Her government was toppled by the May 22, 2014 coup.

A protest In Bangkok's Din Daeng district during polling on Feb 2, 2014. The Constitutional Court later voided the results because voters in many electorates were unable to cast their ballots. (File photo)


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