In an attempt to quell speculation, the junta yesterday said it still maintained, at least for now, the status quo of governing political parties and the judiciary, as well as the staging of elections, rejecting rumours that it preferred selection rather than election of MPs.
Maintaining the existing organic laws and independent organisations will allow all controversial cases concerning corruption and election fraud to continue, analysts said.
The ruling National Council for Peace and Order has issued Order number 57 that allows public referendums to be conducted, the Election Commission (EC) to continue its work and the Supreme Court to continue hearing election cases.
Under the latest order, the election of MPs and the Acquisition of Senators 2007 Act takes effect till amendments are enacted or until the law is scrapped. But the MP election and senator acquisition are temporarily suspended.
The EC has the authority to schedule or extend the date for Senate candidates to submit statements of their expenses and revenue.
To keep peace and order, political parties are banned from holding meetings or carrying out any political activities. Establishing or registering new parties is prohibited. The Fund for the Development of Political Parties is also suspended.
The EC, political registrars and the courts have the authority to continue investigating complaints or hearing cases in connection with political parties, elections and public referendums pending before the May 22 coup.
The Public Referendum 2009 takes effect without disruption until an amendment is enacted or the law is scrapped.
The Supreme Court has the authority to hear election cases, revoke election rights in connection with the MP and Senate elections. The EC can also submit complaints to the Supreme Court to revoke election rights of Senate candidates from May 22.
The election commissioners will meet today to consider what they can do to perform their jobs, according to EC secretary general Puchong Nutrawong.
The ruling National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPO) deputy spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari denied reports on social media that a new government and the People’s Council had been established to change the country’s ruling system.
Winthai also categorically dismissed the following reports that have gone viral:
Provincial Administrative Organisations have been scrapped and only Tambon Administrative Oragnisations and municipalities have been maintained; all governors must be elected; kamnan and village heads will directly report to governors; and the role of politicians has been curbed.
He also denied that 30 per cent of MPs will be elected, with one MP for each province, and 70 per cent will be appointed; police will directly report to governors; and provinces will be divided into zones with the establishment of a Council of Dynamics.
“Please exercise your discretion in consuming information from social media. Any question, please inquire the NCPO,’’ he said.
Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha was scheduled to meet today with Thai ambassadors and consul generals from around the world to explain the reasons for the coup so they can repeat it to the international community.
Another junta spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak said Prayuth planned to host a dinner with foreign correspondents to explain the coup.