Meechai assures no “set zero” for old political parties

Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) chairman Meechai Ruchupan reiterated on Sunday (Dec 24) that the NCPO’s order 53/2560 was not intended to “set zero” the memberships of old political parties, but to ease time constraint to allow old and new parties alike to make preparations so that they can contest the next general election.

Mr Meechai who is also a member of the NCPO said that new political parties which are yet to be set up need extra time for the preparations whereas the old or existing parties could start their verification of their old party memberships although they could not call a general party meeting yet due to technical problem.

However, he noted that this process of preparations must be completed within 30 days as of April 1, 2018.

Chart Thai Pattana party deputy director Nikorn Chamnong earlier raised suspicion that the NCPO’s order 53/2560 could be a ploy in disguise to “set zero” memberships of the old parties. He noted that verification of party memberships was easier said than done because detailed information about party members was legally required.

Meanwhile, Democrat party’s chief legal advisor Wirat Kalayasiri said the order posed a huge burden for a party like the Democrat which has a huge party base, noting that the party would require its members to apply for memberships again because a lot more information is required from the members.

He said that the order appeared to favour the new parties because they could hold their respective general meeting sooner because they would be able to make party registration within March.