Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha reiterated on May 22 that the general election will take place in early 2019 and no sooner, rejecting the possibility of an earlier election as requested by the opposition party.

He made the statement when hundreds of protesters were gathering in Bangkok to demand the vote to be held in November.

About 200 protestors took to the streets in the capital city in a march held by the opposition party to mark the fourth anniversary of a coup in 2014 that toppled then Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and led to the establishment of a junta government. 

They planned to march from Thammasat University to the Government House early in the day but were blocked by rows of police.

On May 21, Thai police declared Bangkok’s Government House and surrounding streets a no-go zone for the planned opposition march and warned the protesters not to defy the junta ban on public gatherings. The police expected around 1,000 protesters to gather on May 22.

The military government initially promised to hold a general election in 2015 but has pushed back the date several times.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on May 1 reassured that the general election will be definitely held in early 2019. The statement was made amid the anti-junta activists’ warning to stage a large-scale demonstration in May.

It was not the first time the chief of the Thai military government promised that the election would take place no later than February 2019. The PM said the election has been postponed several times due to legal process and the international community would understand it.-VNA