Thai Junta delays general election for six months

Following the court decision to implement travel ban on ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thai Junta postpones 2016 general election for more than six months

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Thailand’s military government announced on Tuesday, the country’s general election, which planned to take place in August 2016, will be delayed more than six months.

The announcement followed the issuing of a travel ban to former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Wissanu Krea-ngam, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Thai Junta , said on Tuesday that the general election would be held around August or in September 2016.    

“If we have to do a referendum in January, after that we will need three to four months to amend various laws … then no more than 90 days after that we will hold an election,” Wissanu said.

The military government has been under domestic and international pressure to organise a general election since it came to power in last May’s coup.  But it asserts the election can be held only after the current constitution is amended .

Thai cabinet agreed on Monday to change the constitution with a referendum to give the public an opportunity to have the final say on a blueprint for restoring democratic rule.   

Ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s trial began on Tuesday. She is charged with damaging the state economy with an agricultural programme which allegedly cost billions of dollars to the Thai economy. But it is said that aim of the trial is to keep the Shinawatra family out of Thailand’s politics.

The court banned her from traveling abroad and also set a $899,300 (30 million baht) bail. If the court finds her guilty, she will receive 10 years in prison.

TRTWorld and agencies