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Prayuth promises election in November next year

10 October 2017

It's the latest date to be pencilled in for the election, which has been repeatedly postponed since the military ousted the former Prime Minister, Yingluck Sinawatra, in May 2014 - sending her into political exile. "And around November, we will hold the elections".

The prime minister also said the junta was considering whether to allow political activity - which it suspended after taking office - to resume after funeral services later this month for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died past year.

The military claimed the new charter, Thailand's 20th, will purge Thailand of corrupt civilian politicians and restore stability after almost a decade of political turmoil including two coups.

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The election will not restore the same level of democracy that existed before the latest military takeover in Thailand - a country that has seen more than a dozen coups since it first embraced parliamentary rule in 1932.

After seizing power, the generals drafted a new charter that curbed the power of elected politicians and called for a fully appointed upper house Senate, with several spots reserved for military leaders. Future governments must also follow a "20-year plan" for the country drawn up by the junta.

"Around June, we will announce the date for the next election", he said.

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Prayut later sowed confusion when he said that he only promised to announce elections in 2018, but not necessarily hold them.

"The exact election date will be announced around June".

"It just opens a chance for people to have more participation in their future than they now do", the politician told AFP.

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But they are loathed by Bangkok's army-allied elite, who have cast them as corrupt political opportunists. Prime Minister Prayuth later said Yingluck had fled to Dubai to escape a prison sentence.

Prayuth promises election in November next year