Thailand approves new election date on Oct 15
This came three weeks after the Constitutional Court annulled the April snap polls called by Premier Thaksin Shinawatra.india Updated: May 30, 2006 14:58 IST
Thailand on Tuesday approved a new election date of October 15, three weeks after the Constitutional Court annulled April snap polls called by Premier Thaksin Shinawatra in a bid to silence his critics.
"The Cabinet approved the October 15 date proposed by the Election Commission as a new election date," Wissanu Krea-Ngam, Deputy Prime Minister, told reporters.
"It's the cabinet's authority to issue a new royal decree and there are 90 days to enable candidates to change party," the minister said.
Last week, Thaksin staged a political comeback, formally returning to office after stepping aside in early April in the wake of mass street protests demanding his resignation over alleged corruption.
His announcement to step aside came two days after troubled snap polls on April 2 which the main opposition boycotted and then failed to win enough lower house seats.
Due to the lack of a quorum, the Thai parliament remained closed.
On May 8, the Constitutional Court declared the April 2 elections invalid, saying the campaigning period was too short and polling booths were improperly organised.
The court ordered the government to hold new elections.
The Election Commission then proposed October 22 as the new date for the elections, but Thailand's three most powerful courts on May 16 rejected the proposal, demanding the commission resign because it had lost legitimacy.
At the same time, the government had said the date of October 22 was inappropriate because it coincided with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.