Monday, September 16, 2019

PM’s meeting with parties to discuss lifting of restrictions

Jun 28. 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam
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By THE NATION

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CALLS BY POLITICAL parties for the junta to ease its order restricting their activities ahead of the election will be discussed when their representatives meet Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, said Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on yesterday.

However, no exact date has been scheduled for a meeting between the government and political parties and state agencies regarding preparations for the general election, Wissanu said. He added that the meeting would be scheduled only after the new electoral law is promulgated in the Royal Gazette.

On Wednesday, Prayut said he expected to meet with representatives from political parties in September to discuss preparations for the election. The PM said he would meet with the political parties after the laws on MP elections and the Senate structure get Royal endorsement.

Relax restrictions

It would be the junta leader’s first meeting with political parties. The first meeting between the government and most political parties took place on Monday and was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan. Politicians from most registered parties and officials from relevant agencies attended, including Wissanu.

Pheu Thai and Future Forward parties did not attend the meeting. Political parties have asked Prayut, in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), to relax restrictions in NCPO Order 53/2017 so that parties could follow the requirements of the new electoral law, such as setting up party branches and recruiting enough members for the primary vote to select candidates.

The meeting on Monday did not discuss relaxing the NCPO order and no participants raised the issue, according to Wissanu, who is in charge of the government’s legal affairs.

“This issue will likely be discussed at the second meeting with political parties, which will be presided over by General Prayut,” he said on Thursday.

Wissanu earlier had reported that at the meeting, political parties mainly asked for a new NCPO order to be issued to waive a legal requirement for primary voting in the next |election. He said yesterday that the NCPO would have the final say on the parties’ request after they had discussed the matter with all relevant bodies.

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