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Meechai warns NCPO over political role

Meechai warns NCPO over political role

THURSDAY, November 09, 2017
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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.”