Prawit to chair first meeting with political parties late this month

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon will chair the first much-anticipated meeting with political parties late this month to discuss preparations for the general election which has been tentatively scheduled for February next year.

Gen Prawit, who is in charge of security affairs, said on Wednesday that he has been assigned by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to chair the meeting with political parties, the Election Commission and other agencies concerned.

The meeting will be held late this month, he said, but did not give an exact date.

Gen Prawit said the ban imposed by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on political activities will be first raised for consideration. Political parties have been calling for an abolition of the ban so that they can start preparing for the elections.

He suggested that lifting of the ban will be selective and done in stages and the meeting will discuss which political activities will be permitted.

Emphasis will be placed on allowing political parties to recruit members. However, political campaigns will not yet be allowed, pending the completion of all organic bills related to the election.

On Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's stand that he would attend the meeting on the condition it is televised live, Gen Prawit said a live broadcast of the meeting is unlikely to happen.

Whoever wants to come, come. Whoever does not want to come, don't come. We will first talk over general issues. I believe both old and new political parties will not have a problem concerning this matter, Gen Prawit said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)