Thai PM Prayuth assures general election in 2017

BANGKOK - Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Monday that a general election will take place in 2017, amid criticism that a draft constitution unveiled last week would delay the poll.

A draft constitution released on Friday has been pilloried by all major political parties, raising fears it will be rejected in a July referendum, delaying a return to democracy. "The year 2017, 2017, 2017," a visibly irritated Prayuth told reporters in response to a question about when an election will be held.

Last week, Prayuth said Thailand will hold an election in 2017 even if the draft constitution does not pass the referendum.