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Parties wait impatiently for lift on activities ban

Breaking News August 27, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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PARTIAL FREEDOM PROMISED NEXT MONTH SO POLITICIANS CAN PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS



POLITICIANS hope the government will finally ease the ban on political activities now that the plan to hold elections between February and May is starting to take shape and the junta’s road map to democracy is nearing an end.

Democrat Party’s deputy leader Ongart Klampaiboon said yesterday his party would not ask the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to lift the ban right away, as the council knows what it should do to lead the country to democracy.

He also said the NCPO should be responsible for any consequences.

Political activities and assemblies have been banned since the junta took over in 2014. The ban has been justified as a move to avoid political turmoil.

Meanwhile, the junta has said it would partially lift the ban next month so parties can prepare for the upcoming elections.

Full freedom, however, will not be restored until every electoral legislation goes into effect for security and peacekeeping purposes, the junta said.

Ongart, however, said he did not see any signs of unrest breaking out.

“Everybody wants the country to return to democracy. Polls show that people want to vote. Nobody wants disorder anymore,” he said.

“Parties and politicians have been preparing to get back to work under a democratic rule. I don’t think anybody would want to create conflict. It would just not be acceptable to the public.”

Kosol Patama, former Pheu Thai Party MP for Nakhon Ratchasima, said his party was waiting for the NCPO to lift the ban as soon as possible, adding that Pheu Thai’s movements were always being closely watched by the authorities.

Once assembly is allowed, the party will select new executives, including a leader who will be nominated as a candidate for the premier’s post, he said.

Meanwhile, Kosol said, the party was working on its policies, adding that Pheu Thai is confident it |will keep its seats and gain even more in its stronghold in the Northeast.

 

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