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Thailand’s Prime Minister to Dissolve Parliament for May 7th Elections

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Thailand's Prime Minister to Dissolve Parliament for May 7th Elections

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says he will dissolve parliament before the government’s term ends late next month. In statements to reporters on Feb 16, Gen. Prayuth declined to reveal the date.

It was the first time he announced the house will be dissolved early. An election must be held before May 7, according to the constitution.

The election could result in a grudge match for the premiership between two royalist former army commanders and the rich Shinawatra family, whose elected governments the generals helped to destabilize in coups in 2006 and 2014.

Gen. Prayuth, 68, has performed poorly in recent polls against Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party, the 36-year-old daughter of Thaksin Shinawatra and niece of Yingluck Shinawatra, both self-exiled former prime ministers.

Prawit Wongsuwan, his deputy prime minister and senior political kingmaker from the same royalist army unit, is also slated to run.

Early dissolution could benefit Gen. Prayuth, who recently joined the new United Thai Nation party (UTN), by allowing additional members to be recruited. Early dissolution would shorten the minimum length of party membership for election candidates from 90 days to 30 days under election regulations.

His party has a long way to go and was ranked sixth in a recent poll, with only 4.8% of respondents supporting it. Pheu Thai came in first place with 23.4%.

Gen. Prayuth assumed power in a coup in 2014, vowing that his rule would be only temporary. He served as prime minister of a junta and was re-elected in 2019.


10 Years Under Prayut Thailand Lost

Thailand under Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been a decade of lost money, potential, and precious time, according to Move Forward Party Leader Pita Limjaroenrat in the continuing Opposition discussion.

He emphasized the significance of the final such debate of the present parliament, saying that even if there will be no vote at the end of the two-day debate, the session will provide people with food for thought about how they should vote when they go to the polls in the coming months.

Pita claimed that the government spent a whopping 28 trillion baht of taxpayers’ money for nearly a decade under the military junta and then the Prayut administration, but Thailand’s competitiveness has fallen to 7th place among ASEAN countries, and the corruption perception index (CPI) ranking has fallen from 85th in 2014 to 110th last year, trailing Vietnam, which is making steady progress.

Drought-affected areas expanded from 640,000 hectares in 2014 to 2.24 million hectares last year, he said, adding that the government’s claim, “No drought under Prayut,” is a fiction.

Thai Navy Continues Search for Missing Sailors from HTMS Sukhothai

There have been no police or military changes, as promised, according to Pita, who also stated that the police’s reputation has suffered recently as a result of a series of incidents involving extortion of foreign visitors, alleged involvement in grey companies, and internet gambling activities.

The sinking of the HTMS Sukhothai in December, with the loss of many of its crew, has created various unsolved concerns, according to Pita, as has the use of an F16 fighter plane for personal purposes by a senior air force official.

He emphasized the necessity to reduce the military budget so that more money is available to improve the welfare of younger officers and for development initiatives.

Pita advocated for the “switching off” of the so-called “Three Por” group, which includes Prayut, Prawit Wongsuwan, and Anupong Paochinda, in order for the body politic to improve.

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