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Election 2019: Put it in your calendar – March 10

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PHOTO: Protesters in Bangkok demanding the Thai Government announce election dates

Bets are on for a March 10 election date as the Prime Minister has, for the first time, admitted that the election can no longer be held on February 24. But nothing official has yet been announced.

Under the constitution, the general election must be completed within 150 days of the organic law governing the election of MPs taking effect on Dec 11, or by May 9.

But dates announced for the Royal Coronation, to be held between May 4-6, have forced officials to rethink the February 24 proposed date as post-election milestones and declarations would interfere with the Coronation if the election were to be held on February 24.

PM Prayut yesterday said the election would ‘definitely’ be held before May 9, the first time he had addressed the date issue. He is promising that Thailand will ‘head towards democracy’.

Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says that to prevent possible charter violations, the EC plans to hold both the election and announce the results within the 150 day time frame, or by May 9.

So let’s do a bit of Thursday morning maths…

In Thailand, elections are always held on a Sunday. Counting back from May 9 for 60 days, March 10 emerges as the election date, which is a “safe” date for the poll with minimal interference in the Coronation event.

The poll results could be endorsed by May 9. This would comply with the time frame set under the constitution.

Meanwhile, Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon says the general election will take place within the 150 day time frame but didn’t specify if the period covers the full endorsement process. He says the royal decree calling the election is expected to be published soon.

 

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