BANGKOK – Thailand’s Military Junta has started out the New Year by once again breaking their promiss of holding democratic elections in 2017.
Somjet Boonthanom, a member of the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA), told Reuters that elections would likely be most likely delayed until March or April 2018.
This time saying the Junta needs to delay a planned general election until 2018 to allow time to pass the necessary laws.
“This is not a postponement but because of the intricacies involved in drafting election laws, elections will not happen this year.”
Until now, the junta has said it is sticking to plans for an election in late 2017.
“As far as the government is concerned, we are on track with the roadmap. The NLA’s opinions are their own,” said Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesman for the prime minister’s office.
Thailand’s army has carried out 12 successful coups since 1932.
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.
Critics argue that provisions in the constitution will entrench the hold of the military even after elections.
According to Khaosod the junta has regularly expressed its commitment to its “roadmap” for restoring democracy, which it first vowed would happen a year after staging the May 2014 coup. The date has been pushed back every year since.
The former premier deposed in that coup noted elections have been postponed many times and the junta’s roadmap revised.
“It’s been two years, and we haven’t returned democracy back to the people. We’ve lost so many things and I don’t want to lose more,” Yingluck Shinawatra said Sunday.