New Year message to Thais: No elections in 2017?

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bangkok-democracy-monument
Democracy Monument in Bangkok

Democratic elections initially planned for this year will not happen until at least mid-2018 because the necessary legislation has to be passed first, a process that will take around 15 months, a member of the military-appointed and army-backed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) said on January 1.

“This is not a postponement, but because of the intricacies involved in drafting election laws, elections will not happen this year,” General Somjet Boonthanom, NLA member, said, indicating that the polls could be held in March or April 2018.

This, however, stands in contrast with the ““roadmap for restoring democracy” set up by the current junta after staging of the May 2014 coup when it vowed that elections would happen a year after the coup, “by the end of 2015.” By late 2014, however, several officials had said publicly that elections would not be held until 2016, around mid-year, and then postponed them for another year.

Adding to the confusion is now that the government, which is also military-appointed and army-backed, said that it sticks to plans for elections in late 2017.

“As far as the government is concerned, we are on track with the roadmap. The NLA’s opinions are their own,” Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman for the prime minister’s office, said.

In any case, the next step in the transition back to civilian rule is for new King Maha Vajiralongkorn to endorse a constitution which was approved in a referendum last year.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Democracy Monument in Bangkok

Democratic elections initially planned for this year will not happen until at least mid-2018 because the necessary legislation has to be passed first, a process that will take around 15 months, a member of the military-appointed and army-backed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) said on January 1.

Reading Time: 1 minute

bangkok-democracy-monument
Democracy Monument in Bangkok

Democratic elections initially planned for this year will not happen until at least mid-2018 because the necessary legislation has to be passed first, a process that will take around 15 months, a member of the military-appointed and army-backed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) said on January 1.

“This is not a postponement, but because of the intricacies involved in drafting election laws, elections will not happen this year,” General Somjet Boonthanom, NLA member, said, indicating that the polls could be held in March or April 2018.

This, however, stands in contrast with the ““roadmap for restoring democracy” set up by the current junta after staging of the May 2014 coup when it vowed that elections would happen a year after the coup, “by the end of 2015.” By late 2014, however, several officials had said publicly that elections would not be held until 2016, around mid-year, and then postponed them for another year.

Adding to the confusion is now that the government, which is also military-appointed and army-backed, said that it sticks to plans for elections in late 2017.

“As far as the government is concerned, we are on track with the roadmap. The NLA’s opinions are their own,” Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman for the prime minister’s office, said.

In any case, the next step in the transition back to civilian rule is for new King Maha Vajiralongkorn to endorse a constitution which was approved in a referendum last year.

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