King to Inaugurate New Parliament on Coup Anniversary

A file photo of the interim parliament in session.

Update: The palace postponed the inauguration from May 22 to May 24. 

BANGKOK — Thailand’s parliament is set to reopen on May 22, exactly five years after the military coup that brought the current junta to power.

The assembly will be inaugurated by His Majesty the King himself, according to deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam. Wissanu also suggested that a session to select the next prime minister will probably take place before the end of the month.

“On my own estimate, it can be done within this month,” Wissanu said on Tuesday.

The new parliament consists of both elected MPs and junta-appointed Senators. The appointed senators are authorized by the junta-backed constitution to intervene if the lower house is unable to settle on the next premier.

However, a representative from parliament on Wednesday said a formal notice to convene the assembly has yet to be issued.

The new parliament complex, which remains under construction, will be opened for the inaugural session. But further meetings will have to be held at a rented auditorium in northern Bangkok until construction is complete, officials said.

Wissanu said new speakers for both the lower and upper houses will likely be chosen in the May 22 session.

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