Thailand: Countdown to 2019 election begins

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Thailand’s military government on September 12 enacted two new laws that set in motion a countdown leading to elections to be held between February 24 and May 5, 2019 – five years after the army took over the reins in the country.

The laws govern the election of 500 members of parliament (MPs) and the appointment of 250 senators. Voters will select MPs to represent them in 350 constituencies nationwide. Parties that may not win many of these seats will have a chance to fill the other 150 party-list seats in the 500-seat Lower House.

To gain a majority in parliament, a party of a coalition of parties would have to hold 376 out of the 750 seats in the Lower House plus Senate.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in August that a general election was “likely” to be held on February 24 but left open the possibility of a later date. However, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan stressed on September 13 that the date remains unchanged, though how the relaxation of the ban on political activities unfolds would depend entirely on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, he added.

Another Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, who is in charge of legal affairs, also said that he “has not heard of anything other” than that national elections will be held on February 24.

Late last month, the military government also announced it would ease some restrictions on political parties to let them conduct basic functions and prepare for elections, but campaigning will remain prohibited for the time being.

The Thai stock index rose by 2.30 per cent after the news were out.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s military government on September 12 enacted two new laws that set in motion a countdown leading to elections to be held between February 24 and May 5, 2019 – five years after the army took over the reins in the country.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s military government on September 12 enacted two new laws that set in motion a countdown leading to elections to be held between February 24 and May 5, 2019 – five years after the army took over the reins in the country.

The laws govern the election of 500 members of parliament (MPs) and the appointment of 250 senators. Voters will select MPs to represent them in 350 constituencies nationwide. Parties that may not win many of these seats will have a chance to fill the other 150 party-list seats in the 500-seat Lower House.

To gain a majority in parliament, a party of a coalition of parties would have to hold 376 out of the 750 seats in the Lower House plus Senate.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said in August that a general election was “likely” to be held on February 24 but left open the possibility of a later date. However, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan stressed on September 13 that the date remains unchanged, though how the relaxation of the ban on political activities unfolds would depend entirely on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, he added.

Another Deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, who is in charge of legal affairs, also said that he “has not heard of anything other” than that national elections will be held on February 24.

Late last month, the military government also announced it would ease some restrictions on political parties to let them conduct basic functions and prepare for elections, but campaigning will remain prohibited for the time being.

The Thai stock index rose by 2.30 per cent after the news were out.

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