General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday met with ministers and legislators in a special meeting to discuss legislation, instructing officials to ensure that they would be finished with the work within the remaining one year as the junta is scheduled to step down.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Prayut had told officials in the previous Cabinet meeting about the “road map to democracy” and the time remaining for the current regime.
Prayut wanted to follow the progress of all the legislation, he said.
In the fourth year under the coup-installed regime, Thailand had seen about 250 laws passed and promulgated by the junta-appointed legislators, according to Wissanu.
In the three-hour meeting yesterday, Prayut said he wanted to find out how many bills each body was working on as well as how much they could accomplish in the remaining time, Wissanu said.
Prayut had stressed that legislation must be finished before the last month of the year, considering that it must also be presented for royal endorsement, Wissanu added.
The deputy prime minister added that ministers had been instructed by Prayut in the meeting yesterday to help ensure involved officials were working efficiently.
The Council of State reported that coordination regarding the legislation had been difficult and was taking too long, Wissanu said.
The junta’s legislative agenda includes the controversial alien labour law, which had been objected to by employers for its severe fines of as high as Bt800,000, according to Wissanu.
Prayut said in the meeting that legislators must listen to opinions of people affected as they revised the bill, Wissanu said.
The migrant worker law was promulgated earlier this year but the junta ordered it not be implemented for 180 days until January next year because of the controversy. Wissanu also addressed the road map and scheduled election, adding that despite the promulgation of the political parties law, the junta would enforce its ban on political activities at least until the Royal Cremation was completed.
Wissanu said political parties would not be allowed to campaign anyway as they had to wait until a royal decree on the election was issued.
The leader of Democrat Party, Abhisit Vejjajiva, said yesterday people should stop commenting on politics during the mourning period.
Although the political ban remained in place, parties could work, for example, by reviewing member records and documents, Abhisit said. Those activities did not require political gatherings and would not violate the ban, he added.