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Thai election faces delay as junta says 'coronation first'

Polls slated for February will be after royal ceremony

BANGKOK -- Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday that general elections, slated for February 2019, will not take place before the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, suggesting the country’s return to civilian rule could be delayed again.

Speaking to reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting, the junta leader said the coronation of the king, who ascended the throne in 2016, was “an important subject that all Thais must not forget.” He abruptly raised the issue, which had not been talked about in recent months, when he was asked by reporters about the election.

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