Thai military delays date for new conscripts to report so they can vote on May 14th


The Ministry of Defence has postponed the date for new conscripts to report for military service to May 15th, to allow them to cast their ballots in the general election on May 14th, according to General Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman forthe ministry.

Conscripts who are due to leave on April 30th, after the completion of their two-year service, will be allowed to vote in advance between March 25th and April 9th. He added, however, that the number of these conscripts is small.

Meanwhile Phra Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, a former anti-establishment student activist, declined to elaborate on whether he will show up to draw lots for military service this Sunday.

He said that his position on military conscription remains unchanged hinting, however, that there will be a surprise on that day. He also said that he currently has no plan to leave the monkhood.

During his student years, Netiwit was a vocal opponent of mandatory conscription. He also called for religious reform.

Every Thai male is, in practice, required to take part in the conscription lottery for military service at the age of 20. A red card means they will enter military service for two years,while a black card means exemption.

Students can postpone military conscription while studying until they are 27, after which they have to take part in the draw.

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