Thailand’s general election expected to be held early 2019 will only take place after King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday.
“The government is preparing for the royal ceremony. It is very important for us Thai people. Then, there will be an election afterwards, don’t accuse me of making excuses.
“This coronation will lead to peace and stability in the country,’’ Prayut told newsmen at Government House in Bangkok.
Prayut’s remark was made ahead of his meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday in London and with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris coming week.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended to the throne in late 2016 after the death of his late father Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades.
However his coronation ceremony has yet to be held, initially to allow time for the mourning of the country’s father figure and an elaborate cremation that took place in October 2017.
The fact that the coronation date is not yet determined means that the election timeline is uncertain once again.
Having postponed the election date at least four times since coming to power in a May 2014 coup, the junta is facing increasing opposition, with critics saying the generals are plotting to prolong their grip on the country.
Recent polls have shown the regime’s popularity in sharp decline due to repeated election delays, continued suppression of fundamental rights and freedom of speech, and multiple corruption allegations.