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Last hurdle to Thai election cleared as parties law approved

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Last hurdle to Thai election cleared as parties law approved

By Kas Chanwanpen 
The Nation

 

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Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha insists again yesterday that voting would take place in February.

 

Activists sceptical over pledge of February poll, insist on vote this year

 

Thailand's first election in five years is set to be held next February after all legal hurdles were finally cleared yesterday with the approval by the Constitutional Court of the political party law.

 

However, the pro-election movement is still not confident the election will take place as scheduled by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, although he insisted again yesterday that voting would take place in February.

 

Sirawith Seritiwat, a leader of the pro-election movement, said yesterday that the group remained steadfast in its demand that the election should be held this year. 

 

The Court’s ruling made the group’s demands even more feasible and it would continue to protest until the junta responded to its demands, he said. 

 

In the past two weeks, the Court also gave the green light to the MP and Senate election bills, making all the crucial election laws ready for royal endorsement and promulgation. According to the Constitution, an election can be held within 150 days after all these laws are effective.

 

Despite all the legal complications having been cleared, political scientist Titipol Phakdeewanich from Ubon Ratchathani University said he had doubts that the election would take place next February. 

 

“After all, it is the National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO] who will make the decision, not the Constitutional Court’s verdict,” he said.

 

“Only when the junta itself announces the election date, can we be sure the election will take place.”

 

However, Titipol said that the NCPO should want an election as it was the only way to legitimise the military’s power in politics. But its decision to call one depends largely on whether or not it was certain that it could maintain its grip after the election, he said.

 

Titipol said there was a 70 to 90 per cent likelihood that the poll would be held. Considering the current circumstances – including the inauguration of the Action Coalition for Thailand Party, backed by former protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban – the academic said he believed the NCPO was ready for the election. 

 

Secretary-general of the Election Commission Pol Colonel Jarungvith Phumma said that the agency was ready to organise the election. 

 

It had already completed drafting all the regulations regarding the voting and would promulgated them as soon as the organic laws on the MP and Senate election came into effect, he said.

 

The two draft bills are in the process of being submitted for royal endorsement, which can take up 90 days.

 

Jarungvith said the EC will also consider asking the NCPO to lift the ban on political activities once the election-related laws were in place, to allow parties to prepare for the poll.

 

The Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that the organic law governing political parties, amended by Article 44, had no constitutional issues. 

 

The controversial clauses did not increase the burden or excessively limit the rights and freedoms of individuals and were not considered discriminatory, the Court’s statement read.

 

The verdict was delivered two months after the Ombudsman sought a ruling over the constitutionality of the amendment. Following complaints lodged by two major parties, Pheu Thai and Democrats, the Ombudsman had agreed the junta order may have infringed on the rights of political parties.

 

The order amended at least two clauses in the new political party law where political parties had objected to a violation of their rights and an unnecessary burden. 

 

One clause stated party members would lose their status unless they re-confirmed it with the affiliating parties, a process that involved red tape and inconvenience. Because of the amendment, all parties have lost a substantial amount of members. 

 

The Democrat Party, for instance, saw just 97,000 members re-confirm their status while the number had been more than two million previously. The Pheu Thai Party got roughly 10,000 members in contrast to hundreds of thousands previously.

 

Another clause required parties to set up branches and find members in each province within 90 days of the ban on political activities being lifted.

 

The Constitutional Court did not elaborate yesterday on why the practice imposed by the junta order had no constitutional issue.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/politics/30347084

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-06-06

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

However, Titipol said that the NCPO should want an election as it was the only way to legitimise the military’s power in politics. But its decision to call one depends largely on whether or not it was certain that it could maintain its grip after the election, he said.

 

Titipol said there was a 70 to 90 per cent likelihood that the poll would be held. Considering the current circumstances – including the inauguration of the Action Coalition for Thailand Party, backed by former protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban – the academic said he believed the NCPO was ready for the election. 

I think that there will be an election, and I would guess that it will come next February or so.

 

Why? A few reasons...

 

Legitimacy. There is simply no way around the idea that the current Junta does not have electoral legitimacy, and unless and until they do, they are simply a gang of thugs who seized power. And, they know this; why else has there been talk of an election ever since they stole power? They both want and need some kind of electoral mandate; without it they are merely pale imitations of rulers/governors past.

 

Comparisons. Further to the legitimacy argument above, the current Junta is aware that there are comparisons made to the 'Reds' (in whatever form you choose to call them) and the Junta/Prayut comes out lagging far, far behind. No matter one's opinion of Thaksin/PTP/Yingluck/etc, no one can reasonably state that they did not achieve relatively 'free and fair' electoral victories. Unless Prayut/the Junta can achieve a relatively 'free and fair' electoral mandate, they will always be considered "LESS" than both Shinawatras; that would not be acceptable to them.

 

Timing. When one looks at the various dates for actions, up-coming events, budget outflows, etc it seems like things are being targeted to reach a crescendo in the early new year. It is highly doubtful that this is by accident; even basic political planning by the Junta would target a certain date/time frame when all the ducks and monies are in a row.

 

Popularity. I don't think anyone really believes that the Junta is popular; the question is how unpopular they are and how quickly is their unpopularity dropping? My view is that the Thai people were okay with the Junta during the Mourning and Funeral, but since then they have been slowly declining in support and nothing will reverse that. The equation is how long can they delay an election without losing too much popularity; my view is that it has reached the level of diminishing returns and they can't delay much longer without doing serious electoral damage to themselves.

 

Political competence. I think that there has been a realization in the Junta world in the last few weeks that they are really out of their depth. Consider the last visit to the NE; Prayut got some real push back about using government funds for his campaigning and there was a lot of criticism for lining up the same old tired, corrupt people as part of his coalition. Think about it; he said he launched the coup to 'reform' Thai politics, but then enlists the old "corruptocracy" who urged on the crowd to yell in order to get "billions of Baht" for the area; I strongly suspect that in whatever internal polling the Junta has, this was seen as a terrible mistake and a genuine setback. Anyone who has been active in politics knows that the single most effective political slogan/program centers around the idea of "It Is Time For A Change" and that can and will be used against the Junta. And I didn't even mention the Slithering Slimy Suthep.

 

I could go on, but... My view is that we will have an election around next February; the question is whether it is 'Free and Fair' enough for the parties to take part or not. I will leave that decision to the parties as they will have a better understanding than I do. I would say, if the parties are reading this, that it is better not to have an election than one where the Junta is returned with a "Mandate".

 

Okay, as the poster above stated;

 

"Give date, frog-kisser!"

 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Last hurdle to Thai election cleared as parties law approved

I don't think either "hurdle" or "cleared" are the wisest choice of words

How about "blockade" and "shifted"?

Edited by grumbleweed
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I'm missing a decisive word in the headline 

Preliminary last hurdle to Thai election cleared as parties law approved

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We just need to make sure all threat units are in place. We are not smart and rely on intimidation and bluff.

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

“After all, it is the National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO] who will make the decision, not the Constitutional Court’s verdict,”

Just to make sure the Thai people know their constitution is a fungible commodity subjected to the whims of the minority.

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11 hours ago, webfact said:

The Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that the organic law governing political parties, amended by Article 44, had no constitutional issues. 

Consider this is the same Constitutional Court that raised no issue with military coups, subsequent intentional violation and abolishment of constitutions. Instead of respecting the sovereignty of the nation by the Thai people, it repeatedly chose to respect the subversion of that sovereignty by those who claim absolute power over the people's sovereignty.

 

 

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So now Prayut is reduced to tying the date to the Royal Coronation in order to further delay. If he hasn't manipulated all of the pieces to the proper positions to assure victory by now it may be beyond his grasp as further delays just work to the oppositions favor. The election needs to happen sooner rather than later for everybody's benefit...including Prayut's.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, chama said:

So now Prayut is reduced to tying the date to the Royal Coronation in order to further delay. If he hasn't manipulated all of the pieces to the proper positions to assure victory by now it may be beyond his grasp as further delays just work to the oppositions favor. The election needs to happen sooner rather than later for everybody's benefit...including Prayut's.

He is like most Thais, his strategy is 'Not today - tomorrow can look after itself, just not today'

 

After the next excuse, there will be a death, there may even already have been a death. After that, there will be another death.

 

Why worry? Foreign governments have already accepted 4 years of delays, all of which were disingenuous. 4 worked, 5 will work, 6 will work.

 

Why call an election now, when victory is not assured? No downside to another delay, nobody will do anything, especially those dim foreigners he has wrapped around his little finger.

 

 

Edited by KiwiKiwi
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Last hurdle to Thai election cleared...Wrong Prayut is still there.

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23 hours ago, KiwiKiwi said:

He is like most Thais, his strategy is 'Not today - tomorrow can look after itself, just not today'

 

After the next excuse, there will be a death, there may even already have been a death. After that, there will be another death.

 

Why worry? Foreign governments have already accepted 4 years of delays, all of which were disingenuous. 4 worked, 5 will work, 6 will work.

 

Why call an election now, when victory is not assured? No downside to another delay, nobody will do anything, especially those dim foreigners he has wrapped around his little finger.

 

 

Unfortunately it seems you are right. However, in my opinion (and only in my opinion) the dim foreigners you refer to should stay out of Thai politics anyway, but it is unfortunate that the Thai people don't take action to take back control of their country. Even if a fair, if such a thing is possible, confirmation of faith in the current leadership is the result. The Thais should get to decide their way forward and it seems like the continuos delays further ensure that if an election is ever held that those who have prevented it from happening earlier will have less of a chance to remain. 

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2 minutes ago, chama said:

Unfortunately it seems you are right. However, in my opinion (and only in my opinion) the dim foreigners you refer to should stay out of Thai politics anyway, but it is unfortunate that the Thai people don't take action to take back control of their country. Even if a fair, if such a thing is possible, confirmation of faith in the current leadership is the result. The Thais should get to decide their way forward and it seems like the continuos delays further ensure that if an election is ever held that those who have prevented it from happening earlier will have less of a chance to remain. 

 

Good comment, and of course, it's absolutely right.

 

I tend to oscillate between poles. On the one hand I resent the military and their landed gentry paymasters for reasons I find it hard to explain. On the other hand I shrug and mutter about Thais getting the government (and most other things) they deserve and acknowledge that I shouldn't by rights care as long as the sun shines and prices don't go up too much. It's a dilemma, and I suppose if serves me right for giving a damn.

 

You're right though, It isn't my business and I shouldn't really care less. My life is unaffected by the oafs in government, and to be honest I have little but scorn for the Thai people, whom I consider to be uneducated, feckless and all-round pretty useless, almost the definition of a waste of protein. But...

 

And there's the rub. I shouldn't give a damn but... it just doesn't seem right to me. The last vestiges of altruism die very hard, and I haven't any doubt at all that I should be more dissociated. There's much more that is also true but which has to do with who and what I am. Not special or anything like that but perhaps uncommon, like a good few others.

 

Hey ho...

 

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18 minutes ago, KiwiKiwi said:

 

Good comment, and of course, it's absolutely right.

 

I tend to oscillate between poles. On the one hand I resent the military and their landed gentry paymasters for reasons I find it hard to explain. On the other hand I shrug and mutter about Thais getting the government (and most other things) they deserve and acknowledge that I shouldn't by rights care as long as the sun shines and prices don't go up too much. It's a dilemma, and I suppose if serves me right for giving a damn.

 

You're right though, It isn't my business and I shouldn't really care less. My life is unaffected by the oafs in government, and to be honest I have little but scorn for the Thai people, whom I consider to be uneducated, feckless and all-round pretty useless, almost the definition of a waste of protein. But...

 

And there's the rub. I shouldn't give a damn but... it just doesn't seem right to me. The last vestiges of altruism die very hard, and I haven't any doubt at all that I should be more dissociated. There's much more that is also true but which has to do with who and what I am. Not special or anything like that but perhaps uncommon, like a good few others.

 

Hey ho...

 

to be honest I have little but scorn for the Thai people, whom I consider to be uneducated, feckless and all-round pretty useless, almost the definition of a waste of protein. But...

Yes, you're one of those posters who on the one hand constantly demeans and patronises Thais, implying you're so much more intelligent and worldly, and then in the next breath you blast the Thai elite for their exploitation of the Thai working class. The very class you've just insulted.

And you're not the only one.

Champagne socialists, pass the sick bag Alice.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, bannork said:

to be honest I have little but scorn for the Thai people, whom I consider to be uneducated, feckless and all-round pretty useless, almost the definition of a waste of protein. But...

Yes, you're one of those posters who on the one hand constantly demeans and patronises Thais, implying you're so much more intelligent and worldly, and then in the next breath you blast the Thai elite for their exploitation of the Thai working class. The very class you've just insulted.

And you're not the only one.

Champagne socialists, pass the sick bag Alice.

 

 

Well, as a diagnostician you still have some skills to learn.

 

Look, if you don't like what I write, don't read it - be your own censor. It's really easy. And try to be more fair. I don't insult you for the beliefs and views you have, why would you feel it's your business or right to insult me?

 

There's nothing contradictory in what I say (as you imply), even though you might not understand it before you comment, you're more or less obliged to think about it a bit more. You really ought to think about the intelligence thing too, but best to wait until you know a little more, that way you won't sound quite so self-righteous pseudo-knowledgeable. I doubt you'll be able to point to anything I've said which is demonstrably wrong so I suggest you take Mark Twain's sage advice. What you may not happen to like is not necessarily wrong, you just don't happen to like it and I don't happen to care whether you do or not.

 

If you knew me even a little bit I could understand you having an opinion about me personally, but you don't, and I strongly suspect that if you knew me at all, then you'd shut right up sharpish. That's the way it usually goes, and I expect there's a reason for that. Better keep looking in the sick bag and leave the crystal ball gazing to someone else who 's a bit better at the whole insight thing.

 

 

Edited by KiwiKiwi

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