General election on March 24

General election on March 24

Thais will cast their votes for a new government on March 24, the date set by the Election Commission on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)
Thais will cast their votes for a new government on March 24, the date set by the Election Commission on Wednesday. (Bangkok Post photo)

The general election will be held on March 24, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday afternoon.

EC chairman Itthiporn Boonprakong said commissioners had met and agreed on the date after a royal decree calling for the election of a new House of Representatives was published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday morning. 

Voters outside the country will be able to cast votes from March 4-16. March 17 had been set for voters residing outside their electorates to cast their ballots.

The EC will forward its decision to the government, which will publish the dates in the Royal Gazette.

Candidates for election can apply for registration from Feb 4-8 and their names will be announced on Feb 15,  the EC chief sid.

The royal decree and poll date will also pave the way for four cabinet ministers to resign from their portfolios as they have already formed the Palang Pracharath Party to contest the polls.

PM's Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool said on Friday that he and other Palang Pracharath Party members in the cabinet would find an appropriate date to step down.

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana is the Palang Pracharath leader and Mr Kobsak is a spokesman. The other cabinet members who set up the party are Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee, who is the deputy party leader, and Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong, who is the party's secretary-general.

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