BANGKOK – The Junta government of Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha and the Election Commission (EC) have discussed possible postponement of the upcoming election to avoid disruptions to the coronation ceremonies set for May 4-6.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam insisted that the election must be held before May 9 as constitutionally required.
Wissanu told reporters before holding talks with EC members on Thursday, one day before a royal decree on election date was expected.
He said there would be many activities related to the coronation ceremonies prior to and after May 4-6, therefore, the government needed to ensure that the election would not affect them.
Wissanu said he would inform the EC the procedures and preparations of the coronation ceremony. The government would organize the ceremony in accordance to the royal tradition and there would be a process to prepare for the ceremony and some activities were to follow afterward, said Wissanu.
The EC would set the new date with all possibilities considered, Wissanu said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha government had suggested the general election was planned for February 24. On Tuesday, the Royal Household Bureau announced the coronation ceremonies of King Maha Vajiralongkorn would be held between May 4 and 6.
The coronation will be on May 4 followed by a royal parade on May 5 and a King’s public appearance on May 6. But Wissanu said other related activities would take place in a span of 75 days that could be overlapped by political ones.
An EC source said March 24 is a possible date.
On Tuesday, the government did not issue a royal decree for the election as planned earlier. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said it would be out in a few days. Without the decree, the EC cannot officially set the election date.