POSTPONEMENT of the enforcement of the MPs election bill by 90 days will not affect the government’s popularity, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.
Prayut said he would still keep his promise and that everything would continue to follow the administration’s road map. “I promise the same, and nothing has changed,” the prime minister said after delivering a speech at the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School.
However, the premier declined to say whether the National Legislative Assembly’s decision to defer implementation of the MP election bill would be the final delay before the general election, stating that it was not he who had caused the latest postponement.
There was “no before or after the election”, as he has done nothing to change things, he said, while calling on the media not to let people convince themselves that “a situation” had been created.
The premier also said he could not confirm a final determination of the election date, as he was not able to force proceedings through the legal process. The legal process, he added, had not yet ended as a joint law-review committee would be set up if differences is raised by those considering the legality of the bill.
The junta’s mission would be completed in line with the timetable under the road map, he said.
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president, Pornpetch Wichaicholchai, meanwhile, defended the postponement of the bill’s enforcement, saying it provided time for political parties to prepare themselves for the new primary voting system.
The charter stipulates that the election must be held within 150 days after the enforcement of the related laws. The delay in the start of enforcement of the MP election bill was intended to give parties enough time to complete what was required before moving ahead to the election, Pornpetch said.