6 June 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha indicated today (Tuesday) that he may dissolve Thailand’s House of Representatives in early March.

Speaking to reporters at Government House, he said he was briefed this morning by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on the dos and don’ts for a caretaker government, in the event of a House dissolution – an indication that such move is around the corner.

“I informed the Cabinet meeting that the House will be dissolved in March and that the election date will be in accordance with the timetable set by the Election Commission, that is May 7th,” he said.

When pressed by reporters as to whether he plans to dissolve the House in early March, Prayut said “it will be around that time.”

Prayut declined to give a specific date, but said that the timing should give MPs “enough breathing space” prior to a general election.

If the House completes its current term on March 23rd, would-be candidates are required to have been members of a political party for at least 90 days to qualify to run in the election. In the event of a House dissolution, however, the required party membership period is only 30 days.

Prayut is now a member of the United Thai Nation Party, which will nominate him as its candidate for prime minister, and it is in the process of luring MPs from other parties. A House dissolution, therefore, would facilitate the defections.