Democrat, Pheu Thai to ask Charter Court to rule on the legitimacy of junta’s order

The Democrat and Pheu Thai parties will separately ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of an order of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to amend the Political Parties Act B.E. 2560.

Democrat Party's chief legal advisor, Wirat Kalayasiri, said the party's legal advisors would meet Thursday (Jan 4) to wrap up the issues to be raised with the Constitutional Court.

He said he strongly felt that NCPO order 53/2560 was against the rule of law.

Pheu Thai acting secretary-general Phumtham Wechchayachai said the junta's controversial order was unconstitutional as it violates freedom and rights of political parties and undermine the foundation of political parties.

Pheu Thai party's legal team will meet on Friday (Jan 5) to discuss the plan to lodge complaint with the Constitutional Court.

He also accused the junta of interfering with the responsibility of the Election Commission which is directly responsible for political parties and their administrative works.

Order 53/2560, which has come into force on Dec 22, extends by an addition of 30 days as of April 1 to allow political parties � both the existing ones and others which are yet to be set up � to undertake administration works which include registration of party memberships, registration of parties for those which are to be set up, and party funding.

Existing parties can hold their respective general meetings to complete amending party regulations, preparing party manifesto and election of party executive committee within 90 days as from the date of the lifting of the NCPO's political ban.

However, both the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties oppose the amendments of the Political Parties Act, alleging that they were designed to benefit new parties at the expense of old or existing parties.

The two parties also noted that they cannot engage in any political activity until the NCPO lifts the political ban.

On the contrary, the new parties can set up parties and engage in political activity once they are granted a permission from the junta.

Political analysts viewed that the coordinated move of the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties reflected that the two rival parties are united to fight against the NCPO and this could put the junta in a difficult situation.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)