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Meechai warns NCPO over political role

Meechai warns NCPO over political role

THURSDAY, November 09, 2017

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) would risk breaking the law if it officially supports a particular political party, Meechai Ruchupan, head of the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) and a member of the NCPO, warned on Thursday.

The caution came after NCPO chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday asked the public six questions concerning elections and future politics. In one question, the junta head asked whether the NCPO had the right to support a particular political party.
The new organic law governing political parties forbids outsiders from being involved in the administration of a political party. 
Meechai, as the chief charter writer and a veteran legal expert, said it was a basic political right for individuals to support parties, but they could not do so in the name of a political institution such as the NCPO. 
“Supporting a party is a right. It’s a preference, We can donate money. But we cannot intervene, using our power and force people to choose [a particular party],” Meechai said, adding that such behaviour would necessarily constitute unfairness in the election contest.
However, Meechai said he believed Prayut might have only wanted to know what people thought. 
“Although I cannot possibly know what Prayut’s thinking, I’ve learned from talking to him that he does not want to pursue a position [after the election],” Meechai said. “And I don’t think he posed the questions because he wants to stay on in power. Even if he wants to stay, he didn’t need to do that.”