General election announced for 3rd July
A general election in Thailand has been called for Sunday 3rd July 2011. King Bhumibol Adulyadej has signed the royal decree for the dissolution of the House of Representatives which comes in to force tomorrow, 10th May 2011.
Candidates will have twenty days in which to submit their nominations.
The election is expected to be close, with latest opinion polls showing the successor party of Thai Rak Thai, Thaksin Shinwatra’s party as slightly in the lead. The successor party, Pheu Thai Party (PTP), is on 36.4% of the vote.
The governing party of Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat Party, stands at 34.1%.
The stand-off between the Yellow shirts (People’s Alliance for Democracy – PAD), an anti Thaksin faction and the Red Shirts (the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship – UDD) a pro Thaksin faction is almost certain to lead to violence. The chances of the final result being opposed and contested by the loser is also very strong with a possible military intervention just as likely.
Thaksin, who is currently based in Dubai to avoid being arrested, will run the Pheu Thai campaign as he has done for months via a series of live video broadcasts.