The new election was agreed to by the prime minister and the country’s Election Commission, and comes after a hastily-organized February election held amid anti-government protest. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ruling party won the election, in large part because the opposition boycotted the election and protesters disrupted the polling.
It is unclear if the anti-government factions will attempt to disrupt the July election. Thailand’s national government has been ineffective since protests began in Bangkok in November. The protesters, who have shut down major roads and blockaded government offices, are largely urban and middle class, and see the government as easily corrupted. Yingluck, however, remains popular in rural areas, leading to a deep polarization in the country.
She is also facing rulings on two legal cases which could result in a five-year ban from political office.