Junta leader enacts Section 44 to terminate 3 public agencies

Thailand’s junta leader has invoked absolute power to terminate three public agencies responsible for facilitating dialogue between civil society and the state.

On 13 December 2016, the Royal Gazette website published three new orders from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) leader, which are the NCPO Head’s Order No. 71/2016, No. 72/2016, and No. 73/2016.   
 
Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, invoked authority under Section 44 of the Interim Constitution to enact the orders. Section 44 gives absolute power to the regime.
 
NCPO Head’s Order No. 71/2016, terminates the laws on the establishment and functions of three public agencies, which are the Office of the National Economic and Social Advisory Council, the Political Development Council and the Law Reform Commission of Thailand.
 
In other words, the order was enacted to get rid of the three organisations. They were state-funded think tanks that were active in facilitating dialogue between civil society groups and the government to foster progressive reforms.
 
According to the Thai News Agency, Prayut said that the three organisations have already “served their purposes” and that their the staff should be transferred to other public organisations.    
 
As for the other two orders, NCPO Head’s Order No. 73/2016 suspends the director of the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA) and his deputy from the post. The junta leader said that the two former ONESQA officers will be transferred to other posts in the Prime Minister’s Office.  
 
NCPO Head’s Order No. 72/2016 dictates that all gold mining operators must suspend all mining activities after 1 January 2016.

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