The military-backed parliament of Thailand has voted in favour to make amendments to the constitution as suggested by the new king's office. Of 231 members of the assembly, 228 voted in favour of the changes on Friday (13 January), according to a televised session of the proceedings.
The draft of the amended constitution, which was approved in a referendum in 2016, has been awaiting support by King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The King took the office in December after his father, the longest reigning emperor King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died in October 2016.
According to reports, the constitution of Thailand is a vital part of the junta's plans to hold an election in an effort to make the country a democratic one following a 2014 coup. But the amendment might delay the voting, which was expected to happen in the end of the year.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on 10 January that the newly-elected King had asked for some changes to clauses related to royal power in the draft, which had taken so much of time.
Somjet Boonthanom, a member of parliament, said it was likely that elections would now take place next year.
"The election will take place 15 months after the constitution is endorsed," Somjet told Reuters.
The government must first make the requested amendments. The king then has 90 days to approve the amended charter, Somjet said.
"According to the steps, the election should happen early to mid-2018," he added.