The Election Commission has set four tentative election dates during February and May next year while the ban on political activities will be lifted within 90 days after the announcement of the MPs election law in the Royal Gazette, said Deputy Prime Minister Wisanu Krea-ngam after a meeting between the government and 74 political parties at the Army Club on Monday.
Only Pheu Thai and Future Forward parties were not represented at the meeting as they earlier announced.
He maintained that it was the authority of the Election Commission – not the government – in setting the election date and the Election Commission had set four tentative election dates as follows: February 24, March 31, April 28 or May 25.
When exactly the election will be held, Dr Wisanu explained that it will depend on four factors: the state of peace and order after the holding of the Coronation ceremony for His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn; outcome of the enforcement of the MPs election law and the senators acquisition law; the change of a new set of Election Commission; the holding of local administration elections; and the general state of peace and order.
Regarding the lifting of the ban on political activities which has been demanded by all political parties, the deputy prime minister explained that the government had already submitted to HM the King for Royal approval the MPs election bill on June 15.
According to procedure, the bill must be returned to the government within 90 days as of June 15 and the bill will come into force 90 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette and the election must be held within 150 days after the enforcement of the MPs election law.
Hence, ban on political activities will be lifted within 90 days after the publication or announcement of the MPs election law in the Royal Gazette, said Dr Wisanu, adding that the main concern of political parties is the holding of general meetings.
However, he said that any party which wants to hold a general meeting before the enforcement of the MPs election law can seek permission from the National Council for Peace and Order on case by case basis.
The other issue which was agreed upon at the meeting on Monday between political parties and the government is the deletion of the wording “branch office party leader” from general meetings of parties and from primary vote committees so as to allow parties to recruit members and set up branch offices.