11 July 2024

Thailand’s political parties have been warned by the Election Commission (EC) to refrain from making reference to the Monarchy during their election campaign rallies, otherwise the party’s executive committee could be disbanded and its committee members barred from holding posts in the parties for 20 years.

The stern warning letter was issued by EC Secretary-General Sawaeng Boonmee last Friday and circulated to all political parties.

The letter cites Section 22 of the Political Parties Act B.E. 2560 (2017 AD) which requires the executive committee of each political party to control and regulate their party members, to ensure that they do not do anything which contravenes the Constitution, laws, regulations and announcements or orders of the EC pertaining to election campaigning and the Monarchy.

When notified by the EC Office registrar that a party member has violated Section 22, the executive committee of that party must immediately stop the party member in question from repeating the alleged violation and inform the EC within seven days. Failing that, the executive committee may be disbanded and its members banned from holding posts in a party for 20 years.

The stern warning is in response to an incident which occurred during a campaign rally, held by the United Thai Nation Party on February 25th in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, during which a senior party member, Trairong Suwankiri, allegedly referred to the Monarchy during a speech.