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Ban on political activities lifted

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Wednesday passed a government draft bill to lift a ban on registering new political parties by 149 to 4 votes. The draft law is soon expected to take effective after receiving royal approval.

The NLA passed the bill without amendments although some members wanted to add a clause to prevent ex-TRT members registering a new party under the defunct name. Otherwise, they believe, the Constitution Tribunal's ruling would mean nothing in practice.

NLA member Praphan Khoonmee said the clause would be added in a new draft law on political party instead.

The bill aims to amend Announcement 15 issued by the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR), which prohibits political party-related activities and registering of new parties after the coup of September 19.

The NLA last month rejected a Cabinet proposal to consider the bill in three consecutive readings. The delay means the period of the ban would still be valid until the NLA approves a revised version, which is not expected for at least a month.

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