Elections likely in Aug 2016 if referendum passed: Thai govt

Elections likely in Aug 2016 if referendum passed: Thai govt
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu reiterated the Prayut government and the NCPO did not intend to remain in power beyond the implementation of the reform roadmap.

Thailand is expected to hold a general election in August 2016, if the draft charter is approved in a national referendum, said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

In the event of a "yes" vote for the draft constitution, the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) will move to prepare the organic laws in February, 2016, and table them to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval between March and April next year.

Afterwards, it will have to be endorsed by the Constitutional Court.vAuthorities will have between July and August next year to prepare the election.

"Therefore it is likely that the poll will be held in August," Wissanu said. The results would be announced within 30 days.

The new government will then be installed and the whole process is expected to be completed by early October next year.

Around that time, the work of the "five rivers" of power - the military-installed bodies that are the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the Cabinet, the National Reform Council, the NLA and the CDC - will come to an end.

"I do not invent [the story]. [The process] is according to what has been scheduled. However, if the referendum doesn't pass, the situation will be in another form," said Wisanu.

New council

Wissanu added that the NRC would finish its duty after the referendum on the draft charter. Afterwards, the NRC will be replaced by a council to drive national reform. The council for national reform will continue its task until the House of Representatives starts sessions.

The government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the NCPO will finish their duties when the new government is installed and its members take an oath of allegiance. The NLA will finish its duty when there is a new Senate.

Meanwhile, deputy government spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkumnerd responded to the scenario in which politicians criticised the NRC for failing to adopt the draft charter.

Sansern said the process was conducted in accordance with the 2014 interim charter and the NRC comprised representatives from every group.

Sansern urged politicians to give more importance to the reform process and not merely focus on the election.

He reiterated the Prayut government and the NCPO did not intend to remain in power beyond the implementation of the reform roadmap.

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