11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will invoke his executive power under Article of the interim Constitution to ease political restrictions in order to allow political parties to partially carry out political activities, Deputy Prime Minister Wassanu Krea-ngam said Thursday.

Political activities that will be permitted include holding of general meetings of political parties to recruit new memberships; expressing opinions on election constituencies; holding primary elections to select poll candidates; forming selection panels to choose candidates and coordinating with party members,  according to Mr Wissanu.

The deputy prime minister said he didn’t foresee any issue with the prime minister’s exercising his power using Article 44. He noted that the executive order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) banning political activities is equivalent to law.  “Therefore, a law should be issued under Article 44 to amend the order,”  he said

However, he admitted he had no idea when the prime minister would exercise his power under Article 44.

He said the Constitution is not specific as to how the primary elections will be conducted.  It merely states that opinions must be heard from party members.  Mr Wissanu said he will propose a list of options for the prime minister to consider.