Parties start planning activities after political restrictions eased 

Political parties have begun setting dates for crucial activities they are required to complete before the election that is expected to take place between next February and early May following the an order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to ease political restrictions.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in his capacity as the NCPO chief on Friday invoked Order No.13/2018 to allow parties to proceed with certain pre-election activities.

The order was published in the Royal Gazette the same day and took immediate effect.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva today sent out a message via the party’s official Line instant-messaging application account to people interested in applying to become members of the party, saying party member recruitment is expected to begin on Sept 25.

The party needs more time to adjust its regulations to ensure they are in line with the new election law and the NCPO’s order and will have to notify the Election Commission about its planned member recruitment before the recruitment could actually begin, said Mr Abhisit in the message.

Democrat Party deputy spokesman Rames Rattanachaweng, meanwhile, responded to media reports that several candidates are now determined to enter the race for the party’s leadership, saying every party member owns the party and has the right to take part in the competition.

Pheu Thai Party also has set Sept 20 for a plenary meeting of the party’s executives in which new party leader and new team of executives will be selected.

Pheu Thai acting secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said the party legal team has been assigned to study all organic laws on election and other regulations more thoroughly to clear up confusions as to what the party can and cannot do.

“I don’t know what the government still fears. Why don’t they totally lift the ban? It’s time to allow political parties to fully implement their activities,” he said.

Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, leader of the newly registered Future Forward Party, said the party plans to roll out activities in October starting with a press conference planned for Oct 1 to formally announce its election campaign.

The party will later recruit new members online, begin raising funds and meet prospective candidates to run in the general election, he said.

Phalang Pracharat Party will have to revise its previous plan to hold its first official meeting on Sept 29 and may bring the meeting date forward to allow sufficient time for other activities, said Chuan Chujan, the founder of the party.


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