ASEAN leaders at the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore (Photo: VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai Government has proposed to host the first ASEAN summit in June, instead of the previously suggested date in April, when Thailand chairs the group in 2019, due to worries about a delay in the country’s next general election, according to Thai media on November 14.

It is an obligation of the chair country to host two ASEAN summits, one limited only to the 10 member nations in the first half of the year, and another with partners later in the year. 

While the Thai Government and the Election Commission (EC) have reaffirmed that there will be no more delays to the general election, with the date for the poll set for February 24, 2019, there is still the possibility of the poll being held any time between February and May.

Timing the first ASEAN Summit under the Thai chairmanship for June would be rational in case the election is delayed until May. That would leave sufficient time for the new government after taking office, said an official who wished to remain anonymous.

Earlier on November 9, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam presented a political timeline that will lead to the general election on February 24 next year, involving 350 constituencies.

On April 27 next year, the National Council for Peace and Order will submit a list of 250 senators for a royal approval. The new parliament will take office on May 8, 2019.

The Office of the Prime Minister of Thailand said many international organisations have sent in their requests to become observers of the polls, but affirmed that the matter comes under the authority of the EC. –VNA