Royal decree issued; urgent meeting to confirm election day

The Royal Decree announcing a general election was issued earlier today (23 January 2019), and the Election Commission is scheduled to meet this afternoon to set a date for the election.

In accordance with Article 12 of the organic law on elections, the Election Commission must confirm the schedule for the election and related activities within five days after the Royal Decree has been issued. Pol Col Charungwit Phumma, Secretary-General to the Election Commission, told Matichon that there will be a meeting at 13:00 today (23 January 2019) to confirm the election date, and that Ittiporn Boonprakong, Chairman of the Election Commission, will announce the poll date at around 15:00 – 16:00 today. 

The Royal Decree was previously expected to be issued on 2 January 2019. It was not released, but there was an announcement from the Bureau of the Royal Household that the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn will take place on 4 – 6 May 2019. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam then met with the Election Commission on 3 January 2019. He said he had explained to the Commission that there will be coronation-related activities 15 days before and after the three-day ceremony, and that election activities should be scheduled to avoid overlapping with the coronation schedule.

The delay has caused concerns among critics of the military government, who believe that the junta is deliberately using the delay caused by the coronation for its own political gains. The hashtag #เลื่อนแม่มึงสิ (delayed again, you mother****) trended immediately after it became likely that the election will be postponed, followed by numerous protests across the country.

Updates will follow soon.