Political parties, despite their divergent ideologies, are united in urging the junta to lift its ban on political activity now that the Organic Act on Political Parties is in effect.
Thailand has taken another step closer to general elections after the promulgation of the new junta-written election commission law. New election commissioners will be selected by the 250 junta-appointed senators. On 13 September 2017, the Organic Act on the Election Commission was published in the Royal Gazette after being passed by the National Legislative Assembly on 8 September.
The junta has issued an order abolishing military court trials of civilians who commit crimes against national security, including sedition and lèse majesté cases. On 12 September 2016, the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head Order No. 55/2016 was published in the Royal Gazette.
The latest order by the junta replaces elected local councillors with appointed government officials and gives the junta head the power to directly dismiss ‘corrupt’ councillors. This will allow the junta to take total control of local administrative organizations across the country within four years. On Thursday, 5 May 2016, the Royal Gazette published NCPO Order No. 22/2016 on the selection of local administration councillor.
French edition of Marie Claire magazine has been banned because of an article related a member of Thai royal family.
After the coup d’état in May, Thailand’s national budget for honouring the royal family has increased significantly by approximately 20 per cent from around 14 billion baht or about US$435 million this year to over 17 billion baht or about US$536 million next year.