BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha (pic) insists he is “500% ready” for the upcoming election but has refused to say exactly when the lower House will be dissolved.
Prayut has been nominated as a PM candidate by the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
The PM was answering reporters’ questions after opening the EEC Rubber and Economic Crops Festival 2023 in Rayong province on Wednesday (Feb 22).
On Tuesday, Prayut said he would dissolve the House next month so that the general election could be held on May 7 as scheduled.
The PM said the Election Commission (EC) should have enough time to organise the national poll if he dissolves the House before its four-year term ends on March 22.
However, a potential for delay has arisen after the EC asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether non-Thai citizens should be counted when redrawing constituency boundaries. The court is due to deliver its ruling on March 3.
Asked about rumours he will choose the Wan Thongchai (auspicious day) of March 15 as the dissolution date, the premier said: “What do you want me to say? The top priority now is to make people happy and the country peaceful. Don’t overthink everything.”
He added tetchily that he could not predict if the country would be peaceful after the election but was tired that some media outlets keep asking him the same question.
Asked if he intended to be the prime minister for another two years, Prayut said, “That depends.”
The Constitutional Court ruled in September that Prayut’s eight-year term started on April 6, 2017, when the current charter came into force and will thus end in 2025.
The event on Wednesday was organised to promote rubber and other economic crops grown in the Eastern Economic Corridor using cutting-edge agricultural technology.
Prayut also witnessed the signing of contracts stemming from a business-matching fair attended by Thai businesses and foreign investors, and visited booths displaying agro-industrial technology in the eastern region.
Source: The Star