Thai Junta Delays Polls, Raising Questions About Return to Democracy

Thai Junta Delays Polls, Raising Questions About Return to Democracy

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks at a news conference at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 (AP Photo)
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks at a news conference at the government house in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 (AP Photo)

 

(Reuters) – Thailand’s junta delayed a general election by at least six months on Tuesday, hours after former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was banned from traveling overseas, raising questions about a promised return to democracy.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, installed after the military seized power in last May’s coup, told reporters that the polls would take place in August 2016 at the earliest to allow for a referendum on the new constitution.

“It will take place around August or in September,” he said. The government had said voting would take place in February 2016.

Since taking power, the junta has come under domestic and international pressure to hold elections, which they say can only take place under a new constitution.

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