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The Latest: Thailand sets post-coup election for March 24

BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on a date set for Thailand’s first election since 2014 coup (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Thailand’s Election Commission has announced March 24 as the date for a general election, the first since the military took power in 2014.

Commission Chairman Ithiporn Boonpakong made the long-awaited announcement Wednesday just hours after Thailand’s royal palace issued a decree authorizing the polls.

The ruling junta had pushed back several promised election deadlines — at least once every year since a coup in May 2014 overthrew a democratically elected government. The most recent promised election date of Feb. 24 had to be abandoned because the decree giving the go-ahead was not issued as expected earlier this month, leaving not enough time to prepare for the polls.

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12:15 p.m.

Thailand’s royal palace has issued a decree announcing the holding of the first general election since the military took power in 2014.

The date of the vote is to be announced by the Election Commission within five days.

The decree published Wednesday in the Royal Gazette puts into effect the election laws that were drafted by the military government.

Officials had earlier promised to hold the polls on Feb. 24 but that date appears in doubt because Wednesday’s decree was not published earlier this month as expected.

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