PM promises easing of political restrictions once two poll-related bills enacted

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today that political restrictions would be eased to allow political parties to conduct certain political activities once the charter-mandated bill on the election of members of parliament and the other bill on the selection of senators are promulgated.

He noted that the 90-day period between September and December after the enactment of the two laws would be the right time for political restrictions to be partially lifted.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the National Council for Peace and Order to discuss the easing of political restrictions as proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, Gen Prayut reiterated that the military junta had no intention to delay the much-awaited election.  Gen Prayut last week insisted the February timeframe for the election would be kept for the time being but didn’t rule out the possibility of it being put off.

He said today that the election date will be decided by the Election Commission and according to the roadmap of the junta, the earliest date will be February 24.

Once the ban on political activities is lifted, political parties will be allowed to engaged in a limited range of political activities.   They will include the holding of meetings by political parties to elect party leaders and executive committees, recruiting new memberships, expressing views on poll constituencies, holding of meetings to select poll candidates and for primary elections.