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NCPO likely to discuss lifting of ban on political party activities: Wissanu

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Tuesday will likely discuss the lifting of its long-imposed ban on political party activities in light of the upcoming general election, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Monday.

Wissanu said he had submitted legal suggestions to the NCPO a day before the junta members were set to meet and discuss matters.
The suggestions include permissions for parties to hold meetings with a view to receiving more members, to comment on the setting of constituencies, to conduct primary voting, to set up committees in order to seek MP candidates, and to cooperate with their members, he said.
The deputy PM also brushed aside that the NCPO’s tentative deliberation would have anything to do with the speculated resignations of two ministers in the current Cabinet, who are rumoured to hold top posts in a party supporting the prime minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
There has also been speculation around the NCPO’s possible enforcement of its absolute Article 44 power to clear political hurdles, mostly set by the junta-appointed legislators themselves, and enable political parties to prepare themselves under the new, complex election mechanism under the 2017 Constitution.
Most of the concerns are in regard to the newly introduced primary voting system that will be required for all parties to select their MP candidates. 
All parties, regardless of their size, must have sufficient numbers of members and representatives in contesting constituencies under the new system.
The NCPO, citing the need for order and security, long ago also imposed bans against political party activities and political assemblies of five or more people unless permitted by the junta.
Such bans have frozen parties from holding any mass official meetings since the junta came to power back in 2014.

Published : August 27, 2018

By : The Nation