Thai junta chief: elections set for November 2017

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday that elections will be held in November 2017 after a junta-backed constitution was approved in a referendum on the weekend. 

Prayuth dismissed statements made by the head of the constitutional drafting committee Meechai Ruchuphan that elections would be pushed back to 2018. 

"The people have passed the referendum and according to our roadmap elections will be held in November 2017," Prayut told reporters.  "Why would it be postponed to 2018?"

A new constitution was a major part of the military government's "roadmap to democracy" after it took power in a coup in May 2014. 

A majority of Thais voted for the junta-back charter on the weekend, with over 60 per cent approving the document. Campaigning for or against the charter had been banned by the military.

Critics say the constitution gives too much power to the military who will appoint the entire upper house of parliament and have a veto on constitutional amendments. 

Last update: Tue, 09/08/2016 - 10:57

More from World

Trump stands by unsubstantiated claim that millions voted illegally

Donald Trump stands by his belief that millions of people voted illegally in the November elections that made him...

Iraqi forces seize control of eastern Mosul, prime minister says

Iraqi forces have taken full control of the eastern side of Mosul, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced Tuesday...

Trump signs order to advance controversial US pipelines

US President Donald Trump signed orders Tuesday to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada into...

Mexico draws 'red lines' for negotiations with the US

US President Donald Trump's call for a border wall and any significant watering down of the North America Free Trade...

Jihadist fighters assault rival rebels' bases in northern Syria

A powerful Syrian armed group linked to al-Qaeda launched a series of assaults Tuesday on bases of a rival rebel...