Constitutional Court Greenlights Key Bill, Paving Way for Elections

Members of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly, or NLA, read from a book in January during a parliamentary debate session.
Members of the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly, or NLA, read from a book in January during a parliamentary debate session.

BANGKOK — The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a key draft bill, clearing a legal hurdle for elections scheduled for next year.

The two articles in the bill, submitted by the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly, include Article 35 – which bans those who don’t vote in elections without reasonable justification from becoming politically appointed officials for two years.

The other, Article 92, states that election officials can vote on behalf of people with physical disabilities or the elderly if requested.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan said Thursday that polls would take place in February, amid speculation over whether they would be further delayed.

Following the bill approvals, Wirat Kalayasiri, head of the legal team at the Democrat Party, demanded Wednesday that the roadmap to February elections be honored.

Pinit Intarasombut, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, said Wednesday it is clear that the kingdom is moving toward elections that will take place in February or soon thereafter.