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Politicians press for removal of activities ban now that mourning period over

Oct 30. 2017
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By The Nation

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Politicians have urged the National Council for Peace and Order to relax its ban on political activities now that the mourning period for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej has ended.

When the organic law on political parties took effect in the first week of October, the NCPO said the lifting of the ban had to wait at least until the Royal Cremation Ceremony was completed.

Watana Muangsook, a leading member of the Pheu Thai Party, wrote on Facebook on Monday, slamming the junta for having “no shame” in saying that it had not convened about the matter.

The former commerce minister said he would “not call for anything, because after all the power belonged to the people and the NCPO would not be able to resist it”.

Describing the junta administration as inefficient, Watana said it should stop playing for time and hurry to lift the ban in order to take the country towards democracy.

The junta should also revoke any orders that restricted rights and freedom, as well as drop charges against dissidents, he wrote.

Somsak Prisananatakul, an adviser to the Chart Thai Pattana Party, on Sunday called for NCPO chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha to allow political activities as it had been nearly a month since the political parties law had become effective.

With the ban still in place, Somsak said that political parties had lost the opportunity to make arrangements in line with the new law.

He was particularly concerned for the bigger parties with a large number of members to reach out to, he said, adding that the process would take some time to complete.

The junta should not be worried that there would be any disorder if it lifted the ban, the veteran politician argued, implying that parties would all be too busy reaching out to their membership.

Sathit Pitutaecha, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, said he believed now was the time to get back to the roadmap and head towards a national election.

There should not be any violence in the current situation, he said, reasoning that in the past, violence had arisen because a certain group of people had used it in order to bid for power.

For his own party, he said they were merely preparing to complete the arrangements as required by the new law.

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