May 22, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 3 months ago

Thai PM reiterates no vote until 'early 2019', as protesters gather

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha reiterated on Tuesday that a general election will take place in “early 2019 and no sooner” as hundreds of protesters gathered in Bangkok to demand that a vote be held in November.

FILE PHOTO: Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures during a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting at Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/FIle Photo

Protesters hoping to march to the prime minister’s offices, Government House, set off from Thammasat University early in the day but were blocked by rows of police in black uniforms.

The rare protest is also marking four years since Prayuth, then army chief, overthrew an elected government in a May 22, 2014, coup.

The military government initially promised to hold a general election in 2015 but has pushed back the date several times.

Reporting by Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Robert Birsel

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