Pheu Thai demands an end to junta orders that limit political activity

politics April 06, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE PHEU THAI Party yesterday called for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to repeal orders and announcements that obstruct the activities of political parties after the regime showed signs of delaying the promised road map to democracy by referring a key legislation to the Constitutional Court.



The orders are directives No 57/2557 and 3/2558, which imposed a ban on political activities, along with a recent addition to order No 53/2560 which allowed parties to perform some administrative operations while maintaining the ban.

The junta had previously promised that it would lift the political ban after the organic laws essential for the election came into effect, tentatively in June. However, the NCPO-appointed legislature on Tuesday sent the MP election bill – one of the key organic laws that must be in place prior to the election – to the Constitutional Court for a legality check. 

The move undeniably would delay enforcement of the laws and consequently prolong the political ban, despite the fast-approaching election. Parties needed time to deal with their internal affairs as well as canvass voters, said Pheu Thai.

Pheu Thai slammed the NCPO as being both negligent and exercising its absolute power arbitrarily. They said the junta orders were inconsistent. 

For instance, one order stipulated that parties could only convene after the political ban was lift. And yet, the junta has refused to remove the ban, said the party.

The real purpose of the orders continuing, they charged, was to handicap the established parties while giving an advantage to newly formed parties that have, suspiciously in the perspective of Pheu Thai, announced they would back junta leader Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha continuing as an outsider PM after the election.

The junta must revoke all these orders, Pheu Thai insisted, and parties must instead be governed by the organic law on political parties.

The party’s leaders also called on the NCPO to stop using its absolute power under Article 44 and respect citizens’ rights and freedom as well as the new Constitution now that the election was approaching.

Chaturon Chaisang, a key member of the party, said that NCPO leader Prayut may have an ambition to return to power. But he should stop sabotaging the political system, Chaturon said.