Thai soldiers in Bangkok. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand lifted a ban on political activities on December 11, clearing the way for a general election to be held on February 24, 2019.

The people and political parties will be able to campaign freely during this period until the election in accordance with the constitution, the Thai government said in a statement published on the Royal Gazette.

The government started to impose the political ban when it took power in 2014, citing the need for law and order after months of street protests against the government of former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Since then, the National Council for Peace and Order of Thailand (NCPO) announced various dates for the general election but it has been postponed several times.

It began easing the ban in September, when it allowed political parties to resume organising some activities such as meetings to elect leaders and candidates, and recruitment of new members. However, election campaigning, including public gatherings of more than five people, is still forbidden.

Under a political timeline presented by Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam on November 9, the selection of senators will take place from December 16 to 27, and the general election will be held on February 24, 2019 at 350 constituencies. The results will be released within 60 days after the polling day.

On April 27, 2019, the NCPO will submit a list of 250 senators for a royal approval.

The new parliament will take office in May and fix the dates for the elections of the new speaker for the lower house, the president of the national assembly, and the prime minister. –VNA