Thai PM dissolves parliament, sets July 3 for election

May 10th, 2011 - 12:11 am ICT by BNO News  

BANGKOK (BNO NEWS) — Thailand will hold a general election on July 3, after the king endorsed a royal decree to dissolve the lower house of parliament, government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn announced on Monday.

MCOT online news reported that the parliament will be dissolved on Tuesday after King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed the royal decree, which was submitted on Friday. Under the country’s constitutional monarchy, the king’s endorsement is needed on all legislation.

“His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej has endorsed the royal decree to dissolve the House today and it will come into effect tomorrow. The election will be held on 3 July,” the spokesman said.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has encountered both political conflicts and economic problems during its tenure of two-and-one half year. Last year, the Red-shirt supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) held a 69-day demonstration in an effort to topple his government. Protesters clashed with police, leaving 92 dead and more than a thousand injured.

Despite anti-government protests, the prime minister, whose term finishes at the end of this year, insisted that the lower House would be dissolved only when economic condition is favorable, the charter is amended and political divisiveness is diminished. Abhisit, however, announced he would dissolve Parliament in the first week of May as demands for his resignation or the dissolution of Parliament continued.

This is the 12th Thai government that ends with the dissolution of the House. The last dissolution took place in 2006 when fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra announced the move following the pressure from the yellow-clad People’s Alliance for Democracy.

A caretaker government, which has legitimacy to announce security measures such as a state of emergency or martial law, will run the country until a new Cabinet is appointed following the General Election.

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