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Pheu Thai to challenge in court PM’s order on political parties

Jan 10. 2018
File photo :  Phumtham
File photo : Phumtham
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By THE NATION

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PHEU THAI PARTY plans to submit a petition to the Constitutional Court next Monday, asking it to nullify Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s order, in his capacity as junta chief, to amend the political party law, party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said yesterday.

Phumtham said the party was studying legal possibilities and what other political parties had done on the issue before proceeding with the petition.

As chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Prayut in mid-December issued Order No 53/2560 to amend the political party law to extend parties’ administrative deadlines, with the stated purpose of facilitating party activities, including updating and registering membership lists, which would otherwise have ended this month.

However, other conditions addressed in the new order have been seen by political parties as more of a burden than a benefit.

The two major parties, Pheu Thai and the Democrats, have both cited various reasons how the order could put them at a disadvantage ahead of the election.

Pheu Thai stated in a press briefing on December 27 that the order violated the Constitution, adding that it was “unrighteous” and a blatant use of authority without respect for the law.

The party also said the order was intended to destroy the political party system and violate the rights and freedom of party members, as well as add an unnecessary burden for those members. The order would also pave the way for the establishment of political parties that support the NCPO and its leader so that it could hold on to power, Pheu Thai said.

On Monday, the Democrat Party held a meeting of its lawyers and also decided to file a petition with the Constitutional Court via the Ombudsman’s Office.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said Prayut’s order violated the current charter both in terms of public rights and legitimate procedures.

 

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