Thai military leader promises elections in late 2018

BREAKING: Prayuth promises election in November next year

The head of Thailand's military junta announced Tuesday that the country will hold a general election next year, four years after the military seized power from the country's last democratically elected government.

General Prayuta, chief of the country's military junta since then, said at a Cabinet meeting that the exact dates would be announced around June 2018, reports Efe news.

"It could be weird that an election is held to bring back democracy while such extra power remains", he said.

The decision comes more than a year after Prayut's initial promise to hold elections this year.

When he met with the Thai community during his visit, however, he told them that the election should take place in 2019, many months later than the junta-appointed legislators had projected following the latest road map addressed in the new charter. "And around November, we will hold the elections".

"Now, some people are still questioning whether there is discrimination in the justice system, using the law to punish someone retroactively", Chavalit said, apparently referring to the new legal procedures law against politicians in criminal cases that can proceed in absentia.

It was the first time since seizing power in 2014 that Prayuth has given a date.

Gen Prayut may come up with any reason to defer the election again in the future, Mr Chaturon said. He said that the NCPO had acknowledged the issue at the meeting. Prawit said he had no idea what conditions would follow the lifting of the ban, but one thing was certain: that political gatherings would still not be allowed following such a move.

He also said the Democrats can wait for the NCPO to lift political restrictions, though the regime should be aware that the organic law on political parties stipulates specific time frames for parties to handle their internal affairs ahead of an election, such as a requirement for parties to compile a party membership database within 90 days.

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