Thailand: Political parties worry over membership registration delay


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Bangkok (VNA)
– Political parties in Thailand on April 17
expressed concerns over the membership verification process for their members,
which could not be completed by the end of this month, as required, due to too
many public holidays.

The existing parties
are racing against time to adhere to Order No 53/2017 of the National Council
for Peace and Order (NCPO), which requires party memberships to be renewed,
including the submission of documents and the payment of membership fees, by
April 30.

After the Songkran new
year holidays, there will be less than 10 working days left in April. 

Anyone failing to
register in time will lose their memberships and will have to re-register as
new members. However, as a result of the NCPO ban on political movements which
has yet to be lifted, parties have been unable to carry out any political
activities, including the acquisition of new members.

According to acting secretary-general of
the Election Commission (EC) Jarungwit Phumma, by April 13, fifteen groups had
got approval to register as new political parties nearly six weeks after the
registration was opened. Nine parties had received permission from the NCPO to
hold an assembly.

The EC has been open for political
groups to request registration as a political party since March 2. As of April
3, 98 parties registered but only 15 been approved to form a party due to
strict scrutiny of the application, including the minimum number of members.

Thailand sets to lift the ban on political
activities in June when all new political parties are established. The ban has
been imposed in the country since the coup d’état in May 2014.

Major political parties in Thailand began the process of reconfirming
their memberships and resumed official contact with their members on April 1.-VNA