Thailand To Hold Elections In 2017: Junta Chief

Thailand to hold elections in 2017: junta chief

BANGKOK, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 9th august,2016) : Thailand will hold a general election in 2017, the country's junta chief confirmed Tuesday, his first comments since voters backed a new military-crafted constitution in a referendum. Sunday's vote in support of the charter was the first test of public opinion since the 2014 coup, although campaigning was curbed and open debate banned ahead of the polls. "The election will be held late 2017 as planned," Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who as army chief seized power two years ago, told reporters.

Since the vote key allies the European Union and the United States have called on Prayut to hold elections as swiftly as possible and lift curbs on civil liberties imposed since his takeover. Previous election date promises by Prayut have slipped. The military says the new constitution will purge Thailand of corrupt civilian politicians and restore stability after nearly a decade of political turmoil including two coups. But critics say the charter will augment military power and straitjacket elected officials. Under the new charter the upper house will be entirely appointed, including six seats reserved for the military, while a proportional voting system will likely reduce the influence of major parties.