No vote-wooing activity allowed until royal decree for election promulgated: Thai premier

BANGKOK, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed on Tuesday that no vote-wooing activity will be allowed until a royal decree for a general election be promulgated next month.

Prayut told reporters at the Government House that how soon the sought-after campaigns with constituents nationwide could be allowed is entirely subject to the organic law of the constitution, which governs the nationwide election.

He quoted Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-gnam as saying earlier that such electoral campaigns will very likely be allowed some time next month, following the promulgation of the royal decree for the nationwide polls, tentatively scheduled for February 24, 2019.

According to Prayut, such political matters are by no means up to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), though the ruling military body, which he concurrently chairs, has banned political activity since the past several years.

Major political parties including the Democrat Party and Pheu Thai Party have repeatedly insisted that Prayut lift the NCPO ban on full-scale political activity so that they could kick off their electoral campaigns throughout the country.

For the time being, they are merely allowed to recruit new party members, prepare candidates to contest for MPs and carry out administrative affairs of the parties.

Meanwhile, Prayut currently remains non-committal as to whether he will finally seek to prolong his premiership following the election though he earlier said he was “interested in politics.”

A brand-new party, namely Palang Pracharath, is widely tipped to name Prayut as top candidate for post-election premier with several other parties expected to endorse him in a parliamentary process to pick the premier.

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