Thailand set to hold general election in February, 2019

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Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures as he arrives at a weekly cabinet meeting at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand. Reuters

BANGKOK (Xinhua) – Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that the country will have a general election in next February, but he also said it is possible for further delay.

Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting in the southern province of Chumphon, the prime minister said, “We still confirm that the general election will be held in February 2019. Let’s talk it later if we cannot hold such an election then, and now there isn’t any factor to make us hold the election sooner. The initial date to hold it is Feb. 24.”

He said some of the politically-related restrictions and bans imposed by the National Council for Peace and Order, which he concurrently chairs, will be eased or lifted next month to streamline the Election Commission’s preparations for the vote as well as allow the polling agency to hold consultations with political parties and other related agencies.

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Several leading parties have persistently called on the ruling military to “unlock” all political restrictions and bans so that they could kick off their electoral campaigns nationwide.

Mr Prayut also mentioned that his cabinet’s trip to Chumphon is not politically driven.

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