National Legislative Assembly chairman Pornpetch Wichitcholachai believes a general election will be held in February next year as earlier said by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Mr Pornpetch said this on Tuesday (June 26) although it was concluded after a meeting between the government and political parties on Monday that the earliest date for the general election would be Feb 24 and the latest date May 5, 2019.
The NLA chairman said he personally believed that the election would be held in February as Gen Prayut earlier announced. He said it was not necessary for the Election Commission to take as long as 150 days to prepare for the election as it usually took only 60-90 days.
He hoped the EC and political parties would be able to go through various procedures in time.
On a suggestion by some political parties for the primary votes to be exempted, Mr Pornpetch said all concerned must look into the constitution to see whether or not the requirement can be waived by using Section 44.
He said that if the government asked the NLA for a way out regarding the primaries he would have to consult with other NLA members for a resolution.
Mr Pornpetch also said although the selection of a new Election Commission is still in process, this would not affect the election as the incumbent EC could handle it.
He said the NLA is scheduled to vote to select a new EC on July 12. He believed the new EC would be able to take over the job from the old one without problems.