Junta plans to hold local elections before general election

According to a Deputy Prime Minister, the ruling junta is preparing to restore local elections, on condition that candidates do not criticise the junta in their campaigns
 
On 14 November 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) is considering local elections in some areas. He added that the junta wants local elections to be held before the general election in November 2018 so that politicians can decide how they want to run. 
 
Wissanu explained that local elections will be re-instated in three steps. Firstly, the junta will discuss with the Interior Ministry the amendment of laws and regulations related to local elections. Secondly, the junta will choose where local elections will be allowed since holding local election nationwide at the same time would place too much of a burden on the Election Commission of Thailand.
 
Finally, the junta has to lift two NCPO orders to allow more political freedom: NCPO Announcement 57/2014, which bans political activity; and NCPO Head Order 3/2015, which bans public gatherings of five people or more. This step will pave the way for the long-awaited general election. 
 
On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan also confirmed the junta’s intention to restore local elections. However, he added that candidates cannot campaign in a way that either criticises the NCPO or instigates social conflict.
 
“The condition for removal of the bans is to have only local elections. In local election campaign speeches, we will ask for cooperation for there to be no content attacking the NCPO and creating conflict. But we will talk about this in a little while,” Prawit stated.
 
 
Wisanu Kruangam (Photo from Thairath)

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