Ex-leader’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra polling far ahead of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

Incumbent Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is languishing in third place in a poll published at the weekend on the favourite to be the country’s next leader.

BANGKOK – Thailand’s Parliament was dissolved today to pave the way for elections in May.

Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn has endorsed a decree to dissolve Parliament, according to the Royal Gazette published today.

“This is to restore political decision-making power to the people in order to continue the democratic system with the king as head of state,” said the decree published today.

Under the constitution, an election must be held 45 to 60 days after the House is dissolved.

The Election Commission is expected to meet this week to set the election date, but observers have speculated that it will take place either on May 7 or May 14, which are Sundays.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, 68, a former army general who first came to power in a military coup in 2014, is seeking another term though his limited term ends in 2025. Under the 2017 constitution, a prime minister can serve only eight years in office.

For this year’s election, Prayuth will run under a new party – the United Thai Nation Party as its prime minister candidate – while the Palang Pracharath Party named Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan as its candidate for prime minister.

Thailand had its last general election on March 24, 2019, since which Prayuth has headed a coalition government. He did not run in the election but he was the prime minister candidate of the military-backed Palang Pracharath.

A poll by the National Institute of Development Administration showed the youngest daughter of billionaire former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra remains the top choice for the next prime minister.

The survey published at the weekend showed Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party’s support jumped 10 points to 38.2%, with Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party in second place with 15.75% and Prayuth at 15.65%.

Meanwhile, Prayuth’s last official action was chairing a Board of Investment meeting at the Government House.

He thanked and posed in group photos with members of the media there after the decree to dissolve Parliament was published.

source – Bernama



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