Wissanu: Election likely to be delayed
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Wissanu: Election likely to be delayed

The election will likely be delayed from Feb 24 so post-poll activities won't overlap with those of the coronation ceremony, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

In any case, the poll will take place before the coronation, he said. 

Constitutionally, the general election must be held within 150 days after related organic laws took effect on Dec 11 last year, or by Thursday, May 9. Since an election is typically held on a Sunday, the last day it can be held is May 5.

The coronation is set on May 4-6 and there will be related activities 15 days before and after that period, Mr Wissanu said ahead of a meeting with the Election Commission to discuss the election date.

"The poll must be held within these 150 days so it must take place before or during the coronation. There's no chance of it happening after the coronation," he said. 

"The election itself does not affect the royal ceremony, neither do voting campaigns. But the poll will get the ball rolling and spawn 10 political activities, which are required by the constitution to take place within specific periods,” he said.

As a result, the government and the EC must discuss whether these activities overlap with the royal ceremony.

“We can’t move the royal ceremony. Neither can we move the dates for activities required once the election takes place. Therefore, we may have to move the poll date to avoid the overlapping of these activities," he said.

Mr Wissana said after the meeting the EC would consider an appropriate date after he gave details about the royal ceremony. "I don't know whether it will remain Feb 24," he said. 

An EC source said March 24 is a possible date. 

On Tuesday, the government did not issue a royal decree for the election as planned earlier. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said it would be out in a few days. Without the decree, the EC cannot officially set the election date.

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