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Talks to lift campaigning restrictions set for December 7

Nov 23. 2018
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By The Nation

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The government and the ruling junta will meet with political parties on December 7 to discuss lifting political restrictions and allow campaigning in the run-up to the next election, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday.

He said the event would be held at the Royal Thai Army Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

Prayut, who also heads the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said that clear regulations would be issued to lift the restrictions that have been in place since the 2014 coup. 

“We will do it as soon as possible … The goal is to ensure safety for the country,” he said.

The prime minister said the tentative schedule of February 24 for the election remained unchanged.

When asked if any political parties urged the NCPO to help postpone the election, Prayut said: “I just saw this in newspapers. The NCPO has got no complaints. This is a matter for the Election Commission. I have no involvement in making a decision about this matter.”

He also declined to say whether he would join any political party or become its prime ministerial candidate in the run-up to the election.

On Thursday, a group of small political parties petitioned the EC for the election to be postponed until May 5, the latest allowed by the law on MP elections, which is to go into effect on December 11. 

A rival petition was also filed by another group of small parties asking the EC to retain the tentative schedule of February 24.

The prime minister also said there was no need for a Cabinet reshuffle even if four government ministers joining the Palang Pracharat Party resign to focus on their party work.

“No more changes in the Cabinet line-up. According to the law, other Cabinet members can do the job of those who resign,” he said.

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