EC member urges junta to ease ban on political gatherings immediately after organic law is enacted

politics June 19, 2017 20:43

By Kasamakorn Chanwanpen
The Nation

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An election commissioner yesterday suggested the ruling junta should loosen its ban on political assembly to allow parties to work and fulfill requirements under the new law on political parties.

Election commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said the relaxation should happen immediately after the law is enacted.

He made the suggestion after news that the proposed new law would not repeal Order 57/2557, by the National Council for Peace and Order, which has banned political meetings of more than five people since the 2014 coup.

Due to the ban, political parties have been unable to call official meetings, including one to discuss preparations for implementation of the organic law on political parties.

Representatives from the Election Commission (EC) and the Constitution Drafting Commission are to meet tomorrow to discuss the law on political parties, which is seen as likely to cause difficulties.

Somchai said revisions to alleviate complications in practice did not seem feasible. 

He said that after the National Legislative Assembly passed the law last week, revisions could only be made to ensure the law complies with the Constitution. 

It is uncertain whether the organic law will be revised and when it will be promulgated, he added. 

EC deputy secretary-general Phumpitak Kongkaew will represent the agency in the talks tomorrow. 

Somchai said he had stressed with Phumpitak that the discussion should focus on points that contravened the charter, and not on difficulties that the EC or political parties would face because of the law.