Coronation to be held before poll next year
The coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun will take place before the election, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Responding to a media question as to whether the poll would be held before or after the coronation, Gen Prayut said: "definitely after".
He was speaking at a press conference after the cabinet meeting Tuesday and responding to journalists' questions about the proposed meeting with political parties to discuss the election which is expected in February next year.
He said peace and order was the priority as the government was preparing for the coronation ceremony.
"I want the country peaceful and stable, as this would have investment implications during this period of time. As for the election, we will go forward in line with democratic means," Gen Prayut said.
Meanwhile, the administration is preparing to hold activities to celebrate His Majesty the King's 66th birthday on July 28.
The activities will be held July 22-28 in Sanam Luang, Prime Minister's Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said after a meeting to discuss events to mark the King's birthday.
The government is in the process of relaying information about the activities to the King.
He said provinces will also hold their own events to mark the occasion.
On July 28, a procession of offerings for him and a blessing ceremony for the King will be held. Gen Prayut will represent the Thai people in an address to honour the King at 7pm.
At Sanam Luang an exhibition of photos showing voluntary activities under the "Tam Kwam Dee Duay Hua Jai" (Do good deeds by hearts) project, in line with the King's guidance, will be held.
The pictures will be gathered from activities taking place across the country.
Mr Suwaphan said people are invited to bring their own pictures showing their involvement in the project to be displayed at the exhibition.
On July 27 and 28, free skills training will be held, including how to make garlands, Thai sweets and herbal drinks.
Low-priced food and beverages as well as low-cost products will also be on sale at the events.
Cultural and entertainment performances will be staged during this period.
Provincial authorities will hold activities to celebrate the auspicious occasion at their own discretion, the minister said.
As the events coincide with Asarnha Bucha and Buddhist Lent days on July 27 and 28 respectively, Buddha's relics would be moved to Sanam Luang from the National Museum to let people pay homage, said Mr Suwaphan.