Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Junta to meet politicians, but political activity ban to remain

Jun 13. 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
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By The Nation

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The junta is set to hold its first meeting with politicians at the end of this month, but parties would remain banned from staging election campaigns until the organic law related to the election of MPs “completes its process”, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said.

Prawit, who is also Defence Minister, said on Wednesday said he had been assigned by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to chair the first meeting with political parties and the Election Commission to discuss which activities the politicians would be allowed to undertake prior to the election scheduled for February next year.

“But we won’t lift all the political bans, especially campaigning for the election. We will wait until the MP election law is complete. They may be allowed to get or find party members only,” he said.

After the 2014 coup, the junta issued an order to ban all political gatherings and activities.

But since most of the necessary organic laws involving the election have come into effect and all legal hurdles were finally cleared by the Constitutional Court, politicians have called on the junta to lift the ban to allow them to begin their activities in preparation for the election.

The Court has given the green light to the MP and Senate election bills, making all the crucial election laws ready for royal endorsement and promulgation. According to the Constitution, an election should be held within 150 days after all these laws are effective.

However, in a move seen as a means of delaying the next election, the MP election law will come into effect three months after it was published in the Royal Gazette.

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