Thai PM Prayuth declares general election in 2017

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth says general elections will take place in 2017, major parties worry polls will be delayed

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha waves to supporters after attending a seminar on capital market development at the stock exchange in Bangkok, Thailand, January 15, 2016

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday that a general election will take place in 2017 amid criticism that the draft constitution will delay the polls. 

In response to a question concerning the time of the elections, Prayuth told reporters, "The year 2017, 2017, 2017".

He was appointed prime minister by King Bhumibol after the army seized power in 2014.

A draft constitution was released on Friday, it has been pilloried by all major political parties. Political parties fear that it will be rejected in a referendum in July, and delay the return to democracy.

Last week, Prayuth said Thailand will hold an election in 2017 even if the draft constitution does not pass the referendum.

Current Prime Minister Prayuth, was the leader of the military coup. After, the Constitutional Court declared the general elections of 2014 invalid due to disruption by the opposition, the court ordered former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and several ministers out of office over alleged irregularities in the appointment of a security adviser. Prayuth was then appointed as prime minister.

In 2015 March, Prayuth ended martial law, but continued to rule by executive order. Members from other parties fear that the referendum for the new constitution will delay the elections once again, and also the process to democracy.

Reuters, TRTWorld and agencies