| 18 June 2024, Tuesday |

Thailand prepares to dissolve parliament ahead of election

As his administration enters the final week of its four-year term, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced on Friday that he had written a decree aiming to dismiss parliament before to an election.

The royal consent of Thailand would be required for the decree to go into effect after it was published in the Royal Gazette. After a dissolution, 45 to 60 days must pass before an election.

“We must wait until I prepare (the decree). We must wait for the Royal Gazette announcement “Reporters in the northern city of Chiang Mai were told by Prayuth.

Asked when this would be, he said: “We have to wait.”

The election will again pit the billionaire Shinawatra family against parties backed by the royalist military and old money conservatives, in what has been a bitter, 18-year power struggle in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

Prayuth, a retired general who has been in charge since leading a coup against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014, will run under the new United Thai Nation party.

He will be up against Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the daughter of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck’s niece. Paetongtarn, 36, has led Prayuth in opinion polls for months as the top choice for Thailand’s next prime minister.

Speaking on Friday at an event to introduce Pheu Thai’s candidates, she said she was confident of winning the election by a landslide, with the aim of averting any political maneuvering against her party.

Pheu Thai and its previous incarnations have won every election in the past two decades, but three of their administrations were cut short by judicial rulings or military takeovers.

“I have a strong hope that we can form a government for sure, that’s why we go ourselves to campaign about a landslide,” Paetongtarn said.

Asked about the prospect her opponents might try to block her party from ruling, she said “of course, of course”.

  • Reuters