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Junta order raises doubts about poll in November

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Junta order raises doubts about poll in November

By THE NATION

 

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NCPO chief allows parties to engage in admin work but ban on activities likely to stay until June.

 

THE BAN on political activities will stay until the organic law on the election of MPs comes into effect, according to the latest junta order. 

 

The latest use of Article 44, which allows political parties to engage in administrative work, has raised concerns of a delay in the road map to the election scheduled for November 2018, according to observers.

 

Junta chief and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday used Article 44 to allow political parties to implement the administrative work required under the political party law, while keeping the ban on political activities in effect.

 

The order, as published in the Royal Gazette yesterday, stated that after the organic law concerning the election of MPs comes into effect, the Cabinet shall tell the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to consider revoking any orders or laws that obstruct political activities.

 

The charter writers have submitted a draft bill for MP elections to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and it is expected to be passed in June next year, Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd had said on Tuesday. 

The order also schedules the new deadline for political parties to complete their administrative work, which brings into question whether the election scheduled in November next year was still possible. The political parties Act, which was promulgated in early October, will come into effect only on April 1, 2018, according to the junta order yesterday. 

 

The Article 44 order allows executive party members to continue in their positions but allows existing party members to choose whether to remain with the same parties.

 

If current party members want to keep their party membership, they must submit letters to confirm that choice to the party leader and pay a membership fee between April 1 to 30 next year or they will lose their status. Observers said the short period of time raises practical difficulties.

 

Moreover, the party law previously exempted the members of existing parties from paying a membership fee for four years. But the Article 44 order has nullified that and ordered that both old and new parties collect a membership fee for 2018 from at least 500 qualified members within 180 days or from April 1 to the end of September. 

 

That timeframe makes it highly unlikely that elections will be able to take place in November, as announced earlier by Prayut.

 

The order did not state a reason why April 1 has been chosen as the starting date of the deadline. Politicians had earlier called for the junta to lift the ban that prevented them from conducting party activities requiring a gathering of five or more people.

 

The political party law requires that party membership lists be updated within 90 days after promulgation of the law. That deadline would be up on January 5, 2018. 

 

With the ban on political activities still in force, parties will not be able to legally convene meetings to proceed with other activities needed under the law, politicians have said.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that after April 1, the ban would be eased for old parties to proceed with some activities, including fundraising, but not hold party meetings, he said.

 

But if they needed to hold a meeting, they could ask the NCPO to allow them to do so before the ban is totally lifted.

 

Wissanu said the approach is intended to ensure that new parties could catch up with old parties. New parties need to start from nothing, he said, including recruiting members and registering their parties for the first time. The process would take up to 30 days, during which the Election Commission would consider their application.

 

However, the deputy PM said the extension would not affect the road map to the 2018 election, unless new factors emerge in the meantime. 

 

The NLA, meanwhile, has not yet taken up a proposal by former reformer Paiboon Nititawan to reset party membership for the sake of fairness, saying it needs to see the effects of the Article 44 order on amending the political party law. 

 

Paiboon had also proposed suspending the primary voting system required under the law. But he later said it was just his wish “to build a fair ground for all parties”, which would not actually happen.

 

Paiboon was invited to meet the body’s law vetting committee as well as some Election Commission members.

 

NLA law vetting committee member Somchai Sawangkarn reiterated that the Act already endorses the status of political parties and hence re-registration was not possible. 

 

So, Paiboon returned to his first proposal, suggesting that the Act be amended so as to require all party members to pay membership fees as the law now only requires newly enrolled members to do so.

 

He also suggested that the Act’s stipulation of the so-called primary voting system should be exempted this time, as parties still restricted by the junta’s political ban will have a tight schedule ahead of the upcoming election in November.

 

EC deputy secretary-general Sawang Boonma also admitted that parties would have only 12 to 15 days to finish organising their primary vote before the election date could be announced. Sawang was also asked by the NLA to “maximise” the said period to facilitate the process.

 

Under the current law, all parties will have to use the new system to select MP candidates. Aiming to make party members “more independent” of financiers, it will require parties to have members and candidates in all contesting constituencies.

 

While agreeing that the NCPO should continue to “keep the country in order” until the EC endorses the election result, Paiboon also suggested that the NCPO no longer prohibit parties from holding meetings to prepare for the election.

 

He also defended the suggestion to amend the law, denying that it was aimed at delaying the election as speculated.

 

“The solutions can be that the NLA amend the Act in no time or the special Article 44 power may be invoked. I’m fine with either way as long as it can drive parties ahead,” said the president of the new People’s Reform Network party, with a clear agenda to support PM Prayut to remain the prime minister after the election.

 

They are due to meet again next month for further discussions, mainly to explore the use of Article 44 to amend the Act.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30334606

 

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-12-23

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With the protests of the yellows 3 years in the past. There is only one reason not to allow political parties to have meetings. The greens need every advantage they can manage, because they haven't got a chance to win unless the other parties are still in the starting blocks when the greens are in the home stretch. Even then they'll probably lose.

Edited by canuckamuck
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24 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

Junta order raises doubts about poll in November

I never doubted it wouldn't take place.

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Once again the Green/Yellows are trying to cheat.

 

This is not a surprise; they always try to cheat.

 

The only new thing is how they try to cheat.

 

But, will they be allowed to cheat?

 

 

Edited by Samui Bodoh
Lack of coffee
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You could have knocked me down with a feather on hearing another reason for postponing the election again.

  • Haha 1

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1 hour ago, Samui Bodoh said:

Once again the Green/Yellows are trying to cheat.

 

This is not a surprise; they always try to cheat.

 

The only new thing is how they try to cheat.

 

But, will they be allowed to cheat?

 

 

 

'bout time people realised that everything changed over the course of a year.

 

The era of "niceness" (it was in regional terms) came to an end.

 

The brakes are off (gone).

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Enoon

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4 hours ago, rooster59 said:

Junta chief and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday used Article 44 to allow political parties to implement the administrative work required under the political party law, while keeping the ban on political activities in effect.

A44 in action again.   What would the country do without A44, or martial law?  Nothing seems to happen without shortcuts in Thailand. 

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Our esteemed PM is only looking out for the peoples best interests after all........:whistling:

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7 hours ago, rooster59 said:

The order did not state a reason why April 1 has been chosen as the starting date of the deadline

April fool's day trick! :cheesy:

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An election may occur only if General Happiness is convinced it can be completely and thoroughly rigged. Then he will reluctantly bow to the will of the people…stand for office…and with 107% of the vote…maintain dictatorial control by overwhelming popular acclaim.

Edited by Hayduke

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10 hours ago, rooster59 said:

“The solutions can be that the NLA amend the Act in no time or the special Article 44 power may be invoked. I’m fine with either way as long as it can drive parties ahead,” said the president of the new People’s Reform Network party, with a clear agenda to support PM Prayut to remain the prime minister after the election.

Isn't Paiboon already engaged in election activities by promoting Prayut as the next elected PM?

 

If Prayut doesn't admonish Paiboon and order him to cease such activities, expect the PRN to continue what might be seen as a junta "special privilege" to campaign for Prayut as PM long before political opposition parties will have their opportunities, say 30 days before the election date.

That will taint the entire election as undemocratic even by "Thai democratic" standards.

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Sorta like spraying the tree of democracy with Roundup.  Essentially the same affect.  He who directs the spraying determines what and what is not a weed.

Edited by connda

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6 hours ago, petermik said:

Our esteemed PM is only looking out for the peoples best interests after all........:whistling:

If the "people"  got  off their lazy <deleted> they'd  kick this  lot out "whatever"  it  took to do it.

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2 hours ago, Hayduke said:

An election may occur only if General Happiness is convinced it can be completely and thoroughly rigged. Then he will reluctantly bow to the will of the people…stand for office…and with 107% of the vote…maintain dictatorial control by overwhelming popular acclaim.

live  in  hope

Crysis_2012-02-14_20-07-56-53.jpg

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The Nov 2018 date was put out only to relieve pressure and will only become valid if the pressure continues. Power is a strong seductress. 

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BANGKOK 19 September 2018 00:16
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