Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday he needed a little more time in office to prepare the country for a general election, just days after his deputy said a vote planned for this year could be delayed. Prayuth, installed as prime minister in August 2014 after leading a coup that ousted a civilian government, has delayed the date of a general election several times. Most recently, he said an election would take place in November. But last week Thailand’s parliamentary body voted to postpone enforcement of a new election law by 90 days, dragging out the time frame. At the time, the deputy prime minister said parliament’s decision could delay the election until 2019.
“Please give me some time to lay the foundation for the country, that’s all,” Prayuth told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “The length of this time depends on the law,” he said, referring to last week’s parliamentary decision. Prayuth did not give further details.
He is under pressure at home and abroad to return to civilian governance.
On Saturday, activists demanding an election this year gathered at a pedestrian bridge in central Bangkok in a rare show of dissent.