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November election still possible, says charter drafter

Dec 26. 2017
Constitution Drafting Commission spokesman Chatchai Na Chiangmai
Constitution Drafting Commission spokesman Chatchai Na Chiangmai
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By The Nation

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Constitution Drafting Commission spokesman Chatchai Na Chiangmai has insisted the order via Article 44 to reschedule the deadline for political parties’ activities will not delay the election scheduled in November next year.

Junta chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha last Friday issued an Article 44 order aimed at extending some deadlines in the Political Party Act, which came into effect in early October. 

Political parties raised concerns over the new deadline giving them a short period of time to follow stipulations in the order. They also expressed fears that they could lose many of their current members, and saw the order as an attempt by the junta to “reset” party memberships. 

Chatchai explained the time line of the road map for the next election. He said that the charter stipulates that the next election would be held within 150 days after four essential organic laws – those concerning political party laws, the Election Commission law, election of MPs and origin of the Senate – were promulgated.

The former two laws have already came into effect while the latter two are under review in ad-hoc committees and expected to pass their third readings in late January next year and come into effect in June at the latest, he said. 

“One hundred and fifty days after June would fall in November. So, as of now, I don’t see any sign or circumstance that would lead to a delay,” he said

Chatchai also argued that the Article 44 order was not a “reset” but a process to update and confirm party membership.

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