Thailand’s military junta has moved closer to keeping its long-held promise to hold a general election that could see power transferred back to civilian hands. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam said on Monday that a new bill has been submitted to King Maha Vajiralongkorn for his approval. The bill lays out rules for a lower house election, will take effect 90 days after the king approves it and it is published in the Royal Gazette, the government’s public journal. An election must then follow within 150 days.
The junta has postponed a general election multiple times before, drawing criticism from politicians, students and activists. On May 22, exactly four years since the military coup that put Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha in power, students and supporters of former leader Thaksin Shinawatra took to the streets of Bangkok demanding an election in November.