Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn is seen paying respects at the statue of King Rama I after signing the military-backed constitution in Bangkok. Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha

King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed Thailand’s new constitution on Thursday, moving the country forward on the slow road to promised elections.

The plans for elections have faced multiple delays, most recently due to the King’s request for amendments to the draft constitution, and critics say that the new constitution cements the ruling junta’s authority, regardless of who voters eventually select.

Thailand’s ruling junta met protests in the wake of the 2014 coup with harsh crackdowns on dissent and criticism. That looks likely to continue following Thursday’s signing, as the Financial Times reports that General Prayuth Chan-ocha further warned against actions that could “lead to any disturbance or [harm] the atmosphere and good intentions of the Thai people.”