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Political restrictions to be lifted when law passes: Prawit

Jun 15. 2018
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan
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By The Nation

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All the restrictions limiting activities by political parties will be lifted as soon as the new electoral law is enacted, a key junta figure said on Friday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said that two last organic laws required by the Constitution before a new election can be held – the laws on MP elections and the Senate structure – have yet to be enacted.

“The unlocking [of the political restrictions] will be done immediately after the two laws are passed,” Prawit said.

“Only these two laws prevent the ending of political restrictions,” he said. “The laws are not in effect yet so we can’t do anything.”

He added that what the government could do now was to relax the political restrictions and not completely lift them.

Prawit said the next general election would be held in February next year.

He was asked if the government was worried that lifting of political restrictions would lead to a return of street protests. 

Prawit said: “We do not fear that. We follow the law. There should be no problem.”

The deputy PM said it was likely that a meeting between political parties and the National Council for Peace and Order would be held late this month, although no date has been set. Prawit said he has been assigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to attend the meeting on the junta’s behalf.

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