Thai vote may take place in Dec 2007: Minister | india | Hindustan Times
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Thai vote may take place in Dec 2007: Minister

The long process of writing a new constitution would delay the polls, says Thirapat Sereerangsan, a minister in the PM's office.

india Updated: Oct 20, 2006 17:37 IST
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Elections in Thailand are likely to be postponed until December 2007, two months later than the leaders of last month's coup had promised, a minister said on Friday.

The long process of writing a new constitution would delay the polls, and an elected government is unlikely to take office until February 2008, said Thirapat Sereerangsan, minister to the prime minister's office.

"The constitution drafting is scheduled to finish by early November 2007, leaving 45 days for the new election to be held by December 15," Thirapat said.

"The new parliament is expected to convene in February to name a prime minister, while the new government would be formed by February 28," he told reporters.

Thirapat had said earlier in the week that the military government might remain in power longer than the one year promised by the generals.

Military leaders who ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra on September 19 suspended the 1997 constitution.

They installed a new prime minister and have promised elections and a return to democracy by October 2007.

The generals say Thailand needs a new constitution to weed out the corruption they say marked Thaksin's five years in office.

They have imposed their own constitution until a new one is drafted, but retained tough limits on the media, political parties and protests.

The country is still under martial law, imposed shortly after their takeover.