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Political parties given until April to survey members

Dec 25. 2017
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By The Nation

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Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has advised political parties to begin contacting their members via phone or online channels from today to avoid losing them.

Wissanu said on Monday the parties have from today until the end of March to ask registered members whether they wished to stay on as members. If they did, he said, they would be able to submit a confirmation letter and pay membership dues from April 1 next year. Any party member who fails to submit the letter by the deadline would still be able to register with any party later, Wissanu said.

Junta chief Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha last Friday issued an order aimed at extending some deadlines in the Political Party Act which came into effect in early October. The law was not implemented because the junta has not lifted its ban on political activities. Political parties raised concerns over the short period of time for them to follow the stipulation in the order and said they could lose current members.

The order gives party members only one month to decide whether they will stay with their current parties or review their political allegiances. Those wishing to maintain their party memberships must submit letters to confirm the choice to the party leader and pay a membership fee between April 1-30 next year, or they will lose their status.

Political parties said it would be too difficult to have them submit the letters to the party in time. The order also states that existing parties will have 30 days, from May 1-30, 2018, instead of 90 days as stated in the current law, to update their list of party members to the registrar of political parties.

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