Thailand to dissolve Parliament today ahead of election

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has submitted a decree to dissolve Thailand’s Parliament before the upcoming election in May. The dissolution will come into effect upon its publication in the Royal Gazette, which is expected today.

The decree requires approval from Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

At 9.20am today, government spokesperson Wissanu Krea-ngam said that the date for the election will be confirmed once the dissolution of parliament is published in the Royal Gazette.

The election is expected to take place on either May 7 or May 14, 2023. The date will be set by the Election Commission.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is an army general who took power over Thailand during a military coup in 2014, ousting democratically-elected Yingluck Shinawatra.

PM Prayut will run in the upcoming election under the newly-formed United Thai Nation (UTN) party. The UTN is not expected to win many seats but Prayut could become Prime Minister once more if his party ends up in a coalition.

If Prayut does end up back in the PM’s office, he could only serve for two years before reaching the constitutional limit on his tenure, as ruled by the Constitutional Court last year.

Prayut will be up against 36 year old Paetontarn Shinawatra, the daughter of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and the niece of Yingluck Shinawatra.

Paetontarn said the Pheu Thai party will complete “unfinished business” if voted in. Since 2001, the party has been voted into government three times, each term being cut short by court rulings or military coups.

Paetontarn said she is confident she will beat Prayut by a landslide vote. Opinion polls conducted in recent months suggest that she might be right.

“We managed to fix everything in the first year but then four years later we were ousted by a coup, so there are things that we have not achieved,” Peatontarn told Reuters.

Thailand’s stock market was volatile this morning in anticipation of the dissolution of Parliament, according to analyst Apichat Phobanjerdkul. Even with volatility, the Thai stock market is still stronger than other Asian stock markets, said Apichat.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.