Abhisit questions motive for using Article 44 to override political party law
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday questioned the decision to amend the political party law via the invocation of Article 44 of the pre-2017 interim charter, as revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Monday.
The former PM said he wondered what this was all about, as it was the junta that had wished to reform politics and come up with the organic law, but its latest decision would now override it.
Abhisit said the impediment to the political party law’s promulgation at this point had not originated from any outside party, but from the junta itself, which had now issued an order that contradicted the recently passed law.
He was apparently referring to the National Council for Peace and Order’s ban on political gatherings, which bumps up against the organic law’s requirement that political parties pursue certain activities ahead of the election, including updates of their membership, as well as party meetings.
“If you invoke a special power to override the law, you must come up with a clear reason as to why. What you will be doing will prove whether it’s about reform or just personal benefit,” Abhisit said.
He also lashed out at Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha in regard to an announcement he made during a recent trip to the Northeast, with the ex-premier saying it would be “no less evil” than any past systems, under which those in power backed certain groups, if Prayut were to do the same.
Prayut told villagers in Kalasin that if they wanted to pick a prime minister, they should choose one like him, apparently suggesting that he would not stand in the next general election.
Abhisit said the junta tended to slam political parties, branding them as evil-like, therefore he questioned whether the junta would be similarly branded if they did the same as politicians.
“I don’t want to see the country stuck in the mud. Reform means change, not just newcomers taking turns on the stage. We need to get out of the evil loop,” Abhisit stressed.
The Democrat leader said the junta government should be accountable, and if it could not hold the election as promised, it needed to tell people straight that this was so.