NCPO to allow parties limited political activities

NCPO to allow parties limited political activities

Representatives of political parties and groups attend a meeting hosted by the government at the Army Club in Bangkok on June 25 to discuss issues hindering political activities. (File Photo)
Representatives of political parties and groups attend a meeting hosted by the government at the Army Club in Bangkok on June 25 to discuss issues hindering political activities. (File Photo)

The National Council for Peace and Order has approved the partial lifting of the ban on political activities, with an official announcement to be issued shortly, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Prayut said after a junta meeting that the new rules would allow political parties to hold meetings, make adjustments to regulations, appoint managers and accept new members ahead of polls loosely scheduled for February.

He said the restrictions would be eased "soon" via a Section 44 order.

He was speaking after an NCPO meeting chaired by Prime Minister and NCPO chief Prayut Chan-o-cha.

NCPO deputy chief Gen Tanasak Patimapragorn said the NCPO has eased the political restrictions so that political parties can resume certain activities from next month to December, to prepare for the general election tentatively set for Feb 24 next year. 

Details will be given in an announcement to be issued by the NCPO chief shortly, said Gen Tanasak, a former deputy prime minister.

However, a source at the meeting said that election campaigning would still not be permitted.

Around mid-December, the NCPO also plans to lift Order No 3/2015, which bans the political gathering of more than five people, and Order 57/2014 which prohibits parties from engaging in activities, the source said.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam previously said that political activities to be permitted after the easing of the political ban would include holding party meetings to select party executives and recruiting members; giving their opinions on the demarcation of constituencies; conducting primary votes to choose election candidates, and setting up committees to select the candidates; and contacting party members.

The prime minister reiterated that the NCPO intends to hold elections on Feb 24 next year - at the earliest.



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