Thailand dissolves Parliament ahead of May elections
By GRANT PECK
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s Parliament has been dissolved to set the stage for a May general election that poses an opportunity to lessen the military’s influence in politics. The dissolution was initiated by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is seeking a fresh mandate in the election expected May 7 or 14. It pits the heavily favored opposition Pheu Thai party, backed by billionaire populist Thaksin Shinawatra, against parties representing the conservative establishment, spearheaded by the military. Prayuth is a former general who led the 2014 coup and is facing a challenge not only from Pheu Thai but also from his deputy prime minister.