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August 25, 2007
PM: Election could be held Dec 23

Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont said Saturday that he had met with Election Commission (EC) chairman Apichart Sukhagganond and they agreed that Thailand's general election could be held December 23 as earlier suggested.

Speaking during his weekly TV programme, Gen. Surayud said as the constitution was already endorsed by His Majesty the King the charter would now take effect and the country would be ready for the election.

He said he would speak with Mr. Apichart again regarding fixing the date of the
general election but initially both agreed that December 23 is the most appropriate date.

HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Friday endorsed the country's 18th constitution, five days after the kingdom -- a constitutional monarchy since 1932 -- voted in favour of the newly-drafted charter in the first national referendum to pave the way for the first post-coup national poll.

The charter took effect immediately after it was announced in the Royal Gazette on Friday.

The Constitution was approved by about 58 per cent of voters, with some 42 per cent rejecting it. Voters the Northeast and the upper North voted against the charter in the largest numbers.

The prime minister said earlier he believed the most suitable dates for holding the general election were either December 16 or 23, following celebrations of His Majesty the King's 80th birthday which falls on December 5. TNA reports

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