Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has clarified the government's roadmap leading to the general amid confusion over whether an election will actually happen this year.
Mr Wissanu said the government has agreed that it will follow the roadmap which spells out the time frames and sequence of related events specified by the new constitution.
When the new constitution is promulgated, the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has 240 days to complete the 10 organic laws, which will be tabled to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for consideration -- a process that will take two months.
In the event the NLA wants to make revisions to the organic laws, a joint NLA-CDC panel must be set up to vet the draft organic laws, and this process could be extended by another month. The organic laws will then be submitted to His Majesty the King for endorsement.
When the key laws related to the election of MPs come into force, an election will be held within 150 days, Mr Wissanu said. "The roadmap is still on course," he said.
The government previously expected the election to take place this year, because it thought that the new constitution would be royally endorsed and promulgated in November last year, which would pave the way for the election to be held this year as expected.
"But with the passing of King Rama IX, things have to be postponed," Mr Wissanu said.
Asked about NLA deputy chairman Surachai Liangboonlertchai's remarks on a possible delay to the planned election, Mr Wissanu said he believed the NLA would no longer make any comments about the issue that would cause confusion.
Mr Surachai earlier said he believed the polls could be held in the middle of 2018. The NLA has its hands full this year, gearing up for 10 organic bills and 100 legislative drafts.
CDC spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni yesterday confirmed that the CDC will forward the organic bills governing the Election Commission and political parties to the NLA for consideration once the new charter is enacted.