Bangkok (Reuters) The dissolution of parliament, according to Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, will take place before the conclusion of the current administration’s term late next month, on “a date in mind.”
Prayuth made the initial statement that the house will be dissolved early in his speech to reporters late on Thursday, but he refused to provide the date. The constitution specifies a deadline for elections, which is at the latest in May.
The election might result in a grudge match for the position of prime minister between two former army generals who are royalists and the wealthy Shinawatra family, whose elected governments the generals assisted in overthrowing in coups in 2006 and 2014.
In recent surveys, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the 36-year-old daughter of Thaksin Shinawatra and niece of Yingluck Shinawatra, both self-exiled former prime ministers, has performed badly against Prayuth, the 68-year-old incumbent.
New Zealand hurricane death toll now stands at 8, with more deaths feared. Japan cancels launch of flagship H3 rocket seconds before liftoff.
He is anticipated to face off against Prawit Wongsuwan, an experienced political kingmaker and his deputy prime minister who hails from the same royalist army unit and is 77 years old.
Prayuth, who last month joined the brand-new United Thai Nation party (UTN), may benefit from an early dissolution since it would make it easier to attract new members. Early dissolution would shorten the required length of party membership for election candidates from 90 days to 30 days under election regulations.
With only 4.8% of respondents’ support, his party has a long way to go and was sixth in a survey taken last month. At 23.4%, Pheu Thai came in first.
In a coup in 2014, Prayuth seized control while announcing his reign would be brief. After a 2019 election, he continued to serve as prime minister of a junta.