Thai election to be held in May, says PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha


Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha campaigns as Prime Minister candidate for the United Thai Nation Party ahead of a general election this year in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 9, 2023. - Reuters

BANGKOK, Feb 21, 2023 (AFP): Thailand will hold a general election in May, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Tuesday, with unofficial campaigning already under way.

The embattled premier, who came to power as army chief in a 2014 coup before taking over as PM after a controversial 2019 election, told reporters he would dissolve parliament in March.

Under Thai constitutional rules, this would mean an election some time in May, with May 7 seen by many observers as the most likely date.

"I will dissolve (parliament). I said March so it will be March, so this would fit with May," he told reporters after a regular cabinet meeting.

With the economy struggling and the vital tourism sector hit hard by the pandemic, the 68-year-old's popularity has been in the doldrums, but last month he announced a re-election bid at a rally.

Prayut will run under the banner of the newly created Ruam Thai Sang Chart party, with current ruling party Palan Pracharath Party (PPRP) last month naming Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan as its candidate for PM in the next election.

Campaign billboards are already popping up around the country and the main opposition party Pheu Thai has been campaigning in its traditional strongholds in the northeast.

Pheu Thai is polling well but the current Thai constitution, drafted under junta rule, gives army-linked parties a strong advantage.

The election will be the first since mass youth-led street protests rocked the kingdom in 2020, with calls for political reform and unprecedented demands for changes to the monarchy, which is heavily protected from criticism under Thai law.

Pheu Thai is expected to nominate Paetongtarn Shinawatra -- daughter of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra -- as one of its candidates for prime minister.

Billionaire tycoon Thaksin was ousted as prime minister in a 2006 coup and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid corruption charges he has said are politically motivated. - AFP

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Thai , PM , Prayut , Poll , Probably May 7

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Scoot to start daily flight between Singapore and KL’s Subang Airport from September
HK stars Bob Lam and Oscar Leung open hotpot restaurant in KL
Concerns grow over rising violence against journalists in Indonesia following deadly arson attack
China investigators suspect construction work caused fire that killed 16 people in shopping mall
Netizens slam Thai Olympic uniform design, PM urges respect
Lee Hsien Loong to attend Malaysian King’s installation ceremony at latter’s invitation
HK celeb couple Sammi Cheng & Andy Hui make first public appearance together since cheating scandal
Meet the youngest Filipina Olympic athlete: Levi Jung-Ruvivar
Bomba retrieves 1m-long cobra from car engine compartment in Sandakan
China's leaders vow to fight 'risks' plaguing economy

Others Also Read