Regarding the article 5. in the National Council for Peace and Order Chief’s Order No. 53/2560 “The Procedures according to the Organic Law on Political Parties” which reads “In order to allow newly established political parties to organise their administration and political campaigns alongside existing parties, people who want to found a new political party, in regard to Section 1. in the organic law on Political Parties, may register their party since 1 March 2018. Nonetheless, a meeting to found a new political party, according to the article 10., must seek permission or be under regulations form NCPO.” Afterward, on 2 March 2018 the Election Commission declared party registration open.
The founding members of Future Forward Party submitted documents for registration on 15 March 2018 and the registrar confirmed the submission on the same day.
On 9 April 2018 the organising committee of Future Forward Party submitted request to hold a meeting for founding the party. By 27 May 2018, there has yet been any response. We, the organising committee, have some remarks on the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s exercise of power.
1. The meeting, according to the Organic Law on Political Parties, is an obligation to be fulfilled in order to register a new political party. The organic law rules that people who intend to establish a new political party must register the party within 180 days since the notification of intention to found a new political party submitted to the registrar. In order to fulfill the obligation in Article 10 of the Organic Law, we request NCPO to approve our meeting proposal immediately as follows the approvals authorised to other parties.
2. The founding members request NCPO to annul announcements and orders which restrict political assembly or other political activities of existing or prospective political parties. The announcements and orders to be annulled include:
– Articles 2 and 8 of NCPO Chief’s Order No. 53/ 2560 “The Procedures according to the Organic Law on Political Parties”, dated 22 December 2017.
– Article 2 of the NCPO Announcement No. 57/2557 “The Perpetuation of Specific Organic Laws”, dated 7 June 2014.
– NCPO Chief’s Order No.3/2558 “On Maintenance of Peace and National Security”, dated 1 April 2015.
Nevertheless, regarding Article 8 of NCPO Chief’s Order no. 53/2560 “The Procedures according to the Organic Law on Political Parties” which designate the enactment of the organic law on parliamentary elections, of which the bill is currently debated in the National Assembly, to effectively abolish NCPO Announcements and NCPO Chief’s Orders authorising restrictions on political parties’ activities, the condition in the order is not sufficient for authorising restrictions. Political party conventions and political activities are regulated by the Organic Law on Political Parties (2018) which has come into effect since 8 October 2017. The law provides specific regulation on political party organisation, administration, and activities, hence, the enactment of the organic law on parliamentary elections is deemed surplus to requirements. According to Article 268 of the provisional of the Constitution of Thailand, which reads “Regarding the constitution, parliamentary elections must be held within 150 days since the enactment of the organic laws mentioned in Articles 267 (1),(2),(3), and (4) of the constitution.” Any deferment of abolition of NCPO Announcements and NCPO Chief’s Orders restricting political activities will affect political parties’ election campaigns and candidate selection procedures, which must be complete within 150 days since the enactment of the organic laws mentioned in paragraphs (1),(2),(3), and (4) of Articles 267.
3. The forthcoming parliamentary elections are crucial to the whole nation because they indicate whether transition from military dictatorship to democracy successful. In order to make these crucial elections genuinely reflect people’s voices as well as to create a favourable atmosphere, the military government must allow people to exercise their liberty, rights, and political engagement, as well as stop prosecuting the people who exercise their rights and liberty to demand the elections. The government has an obligation to hold free and fair elections by liberal democracy standard which ensure the voices of people are represented; otherwise the elections will descend to a mere ‘ceremony’ to legitimise NCPO’s consolidation of power.
The Founding Members of Future Forward Party
09 April 2018