Skip to main content

The Thai parliament has been dissolved, according to a decree published in the Royal Government Gazette today (20 March), three days before the end of parliament’s term on Thursday (23 March).

The parliament complex at Kiakkai Intersection (File photo)

The decree is effective immediately after publication, but was signed by King Vajiralongkorn last Friday (17 March).

A general election will take place no earlier than 45 days and within 60 days. If parliament had been left to complete its term, the election would be held within 45 days. The National Election Commission must announce a date for the election within 5 days.

Without the dissolution, the parliament’s 4-year term would have ended on Thursday (23 March).

The legal watchdog NGO iLaw, which is now running an election observation campaign, noted that the dissolution means that anyone who wants to run as MP candidate is required to be a member of a political party for 30 days before the election, whereas the time period would have been 90 days if parliament completed its term. This means that MPs who wish to switch parties can do so after the dissolution, instead of having to resign from their party which would mean they also lose their MP status. 

The dissolution decree has thus made party-swapping easier.  This is in line with a promise made by Prime Minister Gen Prayut on 11 January that politicians be would be given enough time to change parties before the election.

Note: the article was edited for grammar at 11.03 on 21 March. The last paragraph was also added at the same time.

Prachatai English's Logo

Prachatai English is an independent, non-profit news outlet committed to covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite pressure from the authorities. Your support will ensure that we stay a professional media source and be able to meet the challenges and deliver in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”