Thai PM urged to allow politicians to prepare for election

Bangkok, Nov 22 (IANS) A member of Thailand’s Pheu Thai party on Tuesday suggested that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha allow politicians to carry out political activities from very early in the next year to prepare for the forthcoming general election.

Former Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said Prayut should allow the politicians to resume their political business as soon as after New Year season so that they would have enough time to get prepared for the next general election, Xinhua news agency reported.

Prayut, who heads the National Council for Peace and Order, has frozen all political activities in Thailand since the 2014 coup.

He has repeatedly assured that the election will be held some time next year. However, it remains unclear when he will finally let the politicians go back to business.

“It is time the premier seriously took into account the calls for the carrying out of political activities. We need time to lay out policy issues and electoral campaigns. Besides, we need time to select our candidates to run in the election,” said Surapong, an executive member of the once-ruling Puea Thai (for Thais) Party, which was founded by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2008.

The next race to parliament is yet to be held under organic laws of the 2016 constitution, the latest Thai charter yet to be endorsed by King Rama X, the new Thai monarch, within the upcoming February.

Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, the heir apparent to the late King Rama IX, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is expected to rise to the throne early next month.

Former Premier Yingluck Shinawatra, earlier viewed as de facto leader of Pheu Thai party, is sure to miss the election as she has been politically prohibited for five years since last year.

–IANS

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