The Dictator has stated that there will be no “election” until after the coronation. The coronation will only be held at a date to be decided by the king, and probably has been decided, but is still to be announced.
This is not the first time he has said this. Back in July 2017, he stated that the timing for the next general “election” was for him to contemplate. He said the timing needed to be “appropriate.” That could mean a time when he thinks the military junta can be assured of its outcome. But he went on to state that the “election” would “definitely be after the ceremony for King Rama IX’s cremation and King Rama X’s ceremonial accession to the throne.”
So Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s most recent statement should not be a surprise.
At the same time as reporting this, the Bangkok Post lists a series of events that coincide with the run-up to the king’s birthday. The junta is nothing if not a royal-promoting and propagandizing:
Meanwhile, the administration is preparing to hold activities to celebrate His Majesty the King’s 66th birthday on July 28.
The activities will be held July 22-28 in Sanam Luang, Prime Minister’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said after a meeting to discuss events to mark the King’s birthday.
The government is in the process of relaying information about the activities to the King.
He said provinces will also hold their own events to mark the occasion.
On July 28, a procession of offerings for him and a blessing ceremony for the King will be held. Gen Prayut will represent the Thai people in an address to honour the King at 7pm.
At Sanam Luang an exhibition of photos showing voluntary activities under the “Tam Kwam Dee Duay Hua Jai” (Do good deeds by hearts) project, in line with the King’s guidance, will be held.
The pictures will be gathered from activities taking place across the country.
Mr Suwaphan said people are invited to bring their own pictures showing their involvement in the project to be displayed at the exhibition.
On July 27 and 28, free skills training will be held, including how to make garlands, Thai sweets and herbal drinks.
Low-priced food and beverages as well as low-cost products will also be on sale at the events.
Cultural and entertainment performances will be staged during this period.
Provincial authorities will hold activities to celebrate the auspicious occasion at their own discretion, the minister said.
As the events coincide with Asarnha Bucha and Buddhist Lent days on July 27 and 28 respectively, Buddha’s relics would be moved to Sanam Luang from the National Museum to let people pay homage, said Mr Suwaphan.