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The Chair of the Constitution Drafting Committee said the first general election under the junta-backed constitution, recently passed by referendum, might be held in early 2018 despite the junta’s strong promise that elections would at all costs be held in 2017.  
On Sunday, 7 August 2016, after the “Yes Vote” claimed a clear victory in the referendum, Meechai Ruchupan, Chair of Constitution Drafting Committee, told the media that the first general election under the new constitution was expected to be held in late 2017. However, if necessary, the election might be postponed to early 2018, Matichon Online reported.
“The general schedule is that we will have an election in late 2017. In the worst case, it will not be later than early 2018,” Matichon Online quoted Meechai as saying.
Mechai added that the drafting committee has to draft another 10 organic bills which will take at least eight months. It will also take another three months to amend the constitution to accommodate the additional question in the referendum, which was passed with a fairly clear margin.  
This contradicts the junta’s promise that a general election would be held in 2017 regardless of the referendum results. The junta head, the deputy junta head, the junta’s spokesperson, and other junta affiliates have restated this promise many times to the local media and the international community.  
“I confirm that in July 2017, an election must be held. After that if there’s any bloodshed or violence, deal with it yourself,” Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta head, furiously stated on 26 January 2016.
Meechai Ruchupan (source: Matichon Online)


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