Thailand ready to dissolve Parliament, as PM submits decree to King
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday that he has prepared a decree to dissolve the Parliament and that it is awaiting royal endorsement.
Once approved, the decree will go into effect after being published in the Roya Gazette. As per the Constitution, the election should be held 45 to 60 days after Parliament is dissolved.
Prayut was speaking to the press while visiting the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre on Friday as part of his election campaign.
When asked if the Parliament will be dissolved on Monday, Prayut only said: “We have to wait for the announcement [in the Royal Gazette].”
He also said that he would continue working as interim PM after the Parliament is dissolved and will campaign for the United Thai Nation Party. The party is fielding him as its sole candidate for the prime minister’s post.
The Election Commission (EC) has finalised setting boundaries of all 400 constituencies for the next general election which has been tentatively set for May 7.
As for Somsak Thepsuthin giving up his Justice portfolio and resigning from the ruling party, Prayut said he respected his decision. “We are not enemies and still love each other.”
Somsak, leader of the Sam Mitr (Three Friends) faction, and Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit, both quit Palang Pracharath Party. It is widely believed they will join the opposition Pheu Thai Party, and neither have either denied or confirmed the speculation.
Prayut said he was not worried about Somsak jumping ship and joining Pheu Thai under the belief that it will secure a landslide win at the election.
Limited powers for interim Cabinet
Once Parliament is dissolved, an interim Cabinet will be put in place. However, according to EC regulations published in the Royal Gazette in July last year, the interim Cabinet is prohibited from the following actions:
• Meeting outside Government House
• Approving promotions, transfers or termination of civil servants and state enterprise employees
• Approving disbursement of the state budget
• Approving distribution of state resources without proper cause
• Disbursing travel and public relations expenses from state agencies
• Employing state resources such as frequencies, radio and TV broadcasts or telecommunications equipment for public relations
The EC has said that the regulation, which is in effect immediately, aims to limit the conditions and actions of the interim Cabinet to ensure equal opportunities in the upcoming election.
The commission could, however, lift or relax any of the prohibitions of necessary.