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Tentative dates set for Thai general elections

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    The Nation/ANN

Bangkok, Thailand | Sun, August 19, 2018 | 08:45 pm
Tentative dates set for Thai general elections A man dips his finger in indelible ink in East Denpasar, Bali, on Wednesday after voting in the Bali gubernatorial election. More than half of the country’s population cast their ballots in the simultaneous regional elections. (JP/Anggara Mahendra)

Elections will be held on February 24 at the earliest and by May 5 at the latest, Election Commission (EC) chairman Ittiporn Boonprakong said Sunday.

The tentative dates were set as per the government’s road map, and after discussions were held with political parties and concerned agencies in June this year, Ittiporn clarified.

“We are ready to hold an election, no matter whether [it is held] sooner or later,” the new EC chairman said.

The current charter stipulates that an election must be held within 150 days after the law concerning the election of MPs comes into effect.

The MP election bill was submitted for royal endorsement on June 15, and once it is announced in the Royal Gazette, it will take another 90 days to go into effect. An election will have to be held within 150 days after that. 

Maj-General Piyapong Klinphan, a spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said the council had not found anything of concern or any security threats that might delay the election. 

He said the NCPO still closely watched the movements of all political groups and parties, and has learned that everything is being done within the line of law and nothing has affected national security. 

The NCPO will continue maintaining peace and order in the country, so elections can be held as per normal, he said.

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