BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who led a military coup in May, said on Wednesday that elections planned for 2015 will depend on whether wide-ranging national reforms can be completed within a year.
The former army chief’s remarks add to growing speculation that a general election promised for late 2015 could be pushed back and delay Thailand’s return to democracy following a coup in May.
Prayuth made his remarks to reporters as he prepared to board a plane in Bangkok to attend an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan. “I outlined a roadmap. The election must come with a new constitution and eleven reform areas,” said Prayuth.
“Everything depends on the roadmap so we must see first if the roadmap can be completed. Elections take time to organise,” he added, giving no further details.
The army seized power in a bloodless coup following months of tumult – a move that was widely condemned by Western nations who urged Thailand to quickly return to elections.