February 23, 2023
BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he will dissolve the House next month so the general election can be held on May 7 as scheduled.
Speaking to reporters after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Prayut said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam had explained the election timeline to the Cabinet. Wissanu also explained what the caretaker Cabinet can and cannot do before the election is held.
Prayut said he now understands that the Election Commission (EC) requires time to organise the election and that it should have enough time if he dissolves the House early.
The EC had announced that the election can be held on May 7 if the current House completes its four-year term on March 22, after the last election was held on March 23, 2019.
The EC also explained that the electoral law gives it an extra 15 days if the House is dissolved before it completes its term.
As a result, if Prayut wants the election to be held as scheduled, he must dissolve the House at least 15 days before March 22.
“The election will definitely be held on May 7 in line with the timeline set by the EC,” Prayut said.
Asked if he would dissolve the House early next month, Prayut said: “It’s likely.
“The two dates must be set in line with each other, so MPs have breathing time. The prime minister will not waste anyone’s time,” Prayut insisted.
Dissolving the House 15 days early will also give MPs time to switch parties ahead of the next election.
The EC has instructed election commissions in all 77 provinces to draw up new constituency borders based on House seats allocated to them.
The EC is also awaiting a charter court ruling on whether the allocation of House seats according to the population census, which includes stateless people, is constitutional or not. If not, the EC will have to reallocate House seats in eight provinces, where borders will have to be redrawn.