BANGKOK — Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Thursday that the election will likely be moved to March 24.
The kingdom has been thrown into confusion without a definite answer on whether the Feb. 24 poll is on or off. The date fell into doubt after a needed royal decree failed to appear, but the deputy premier said one would likely be published in the Royal Gazette next week, allowing election officials to pin down a date.
“Some parties may not complain while others may say elections should be held quickly,” Wissanu said, adding that he recognizes that the longer the delay, the more money will have to be spent on election campaigns.
His announcement comes before a backdrop of discord. Various political parties are calling for a clear date to be set while protesters continue demanding it remain Feb. 24. A few voices have emerged to call for voting to be abandoned.
On Tuesday, singer Jirayuth Wattanasin, aka Joe Nuvo, wrote on Instagram to his 107,000 followers that the election should not be delayed but canceled altogether.
The move elicited strong reactions from those wanting no further delays, with some suggesting it’s alright if Jirayuth doesn’t want to vote, but that he has no right to infringe on others’ rights.
On Thursday, a prominent Democrat Party member and former MP, Warong Dechgitvigrom, said Thailand is facing a defective democracy worse than military dictatorship.
Likening the return to civilian rule to AIDS, he called it “Immune Deficiency Democracy” and said some politicians are receptive to serving “evil capitalists” who will cause immense damage to society.