See More on Facebook

Politics

Political activity ban lifted ahead of 2019 election

Thailand’s military government lifted restrictions on political activities that have been in effect since the 2014 military coup.


Written by

Updated: December 12, 2018

Thailand’s ruling junta has lifted a ban on political activities, paving the way for elections in February of 2019.

The lifting reverses a prohibition on political parties convening meetings or organizing political activities. A ban forbidding the political gathering of five or more people is also restricted.

The ban has been enacted to quell dissent and jail opposition leaders in a bid for the junta to consolidate its power.

Campaign

Election campaigning will begin from January 2 with elections scheduled for February 24.

The Thaksin-backed Peu Thai party which was deposed by the military in 2014 is expected to gain a large number of votes as is the opposition Democrat party which ruled the country in the late 2000s.

Both have, in recent months, called for the junta to lift the ban quickly saying that lifting the prohibitions too late would leave political parties little time to prepare for polls and campaign successfully.

A military aligned party formed in recent months say they will also contest polls and would nominate current junta-chief Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister should they win enough seats.

The junta has in recent months attempted several populist policies in the run up to polls.

The government has enacted a poverty payment plan that hands out free money to people who fail to meet an income threshold.

Those eligible would also have poverty cards issued to them to ensure access to certain subsidized goods and products.

The election will be contested under a constitution drafted by the military which dictates that the junta leaders will pick the entirety of the senate (upper house) of parliament as well as expanding the chamber’s power.

Critics say that these and other steps taking by the junta ensures that the military will continue to play a heavy hand in Thailand’s political future, regardless of the outcome of the elections.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Malaysia detains 13 suspected militants

Six of them were involved in the Marawi siege in the Philippines. Thirteen suspected militants, including six pro-Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members allegedly involved in the deadly Marawi siege in southern Philippines, have been detained by Malaysian authorities. Malaysia’s national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said 12 Filipinos and a Malaysian were arrested on March 11 and 12 by police’s Counter Terrorism Division, with the help of Special Branch, Sabah police and elite multi-tasking special forces unit 69 Commando. “They were detained for their suspected involvement in several terror groups… either the ASG, Maute combatants or the Royal Sulu Force (RSF),” he said in a statement on Monday (March 18). “Some of them were also involved in giving protection to foreign terrorist fighters who are hiding in Sabah.” The first arrests, the Inspector-Genera


By The Straits Times
March 19, 2019

Politics

Duterte to deport any ICC official investigating his rights record

Many have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Duterte’s deadly drug war. International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors will be denied entry and deported if they try to enter the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity, Malacañang said on Monday. “Certainly we will not allow any attempt at interfering with the sovereignty of this country,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters a day after the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became official. The President withdrew the Philippines from the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal last year after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that she had opened a preliminary examination of information brought against the Philippine leader about thousands of extrajudicial killings in his brutal war on drugs. Investigation can go on


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 19, 2019

Politics

Will Sunday’s election ease or aggravate the conflict?

Sunday’s upcoming election will be the first poll Thailand has held since the military took over in 2014. Next Sunday will be a crucial day for Thailand, as voters cast their ballot to decide on the country’s future. But what happens after the ballot boxes are closed remains uncertain. Will this election end a decade-long political conflict, or will it just create a new round of battles? With voting just a week away, observers and political scientists The Nation spoke to believe that the most likely scenario after the poll is that General Prayut Chan-o-cha will return as prime minister, thanks mainly to support from Phalang Pracharat Party and its allies. Based on this scenario, Uttama Savanayana’s Phalang Pracharat along with its allies – Ruam Palang Prachachat


By The Nation (Thailand)
March 18, 2019

Politics

At least 49 killed in terror attacks on Christchurch mosques

Many worshipers from Southeast Asia were present at the mosque at the time of the shooting. At least forty-nine people were killed and dozens injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand’s second-largest city of Christchurch on Friday (March 15) in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said was a well-planned terror attack, forcing the government to place the country on its highest security threat level, the Straits Times reported.  Police said all mosques in the country have been asked to close their doors. Christchurch was also initially placed under lockdown. Ms Ardern said Friday was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. “This can only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ms Ardern sai


By ANN Members
March 15, 2019

Politics

Duterte names 46 politicians on narcolist

Many are contesting in mid-term elections later this year. President Duterte on Thursday night identified 43 local officials and three congressmen, most of them running in midterm elections in May, on his so-called narcolist. Speaking in Davao City, Duterte said cases had been filed against the politicians allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade with the Office of the Ombudsman. “So this is already a validated report,” Duterte said during a joint police-military command conference. The local officials named are from the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, Caraga region and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. On the list of officials named by the President are 35 mayors, seven vice mayors, one provincial board member, and three members of the Ho


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 15, 2019

Politics

Wife of militant detonates bomb in Indonesia

Security officials around the region are wary of returning militants from the middle east. The wife of arrested Indonesian militant Husain alias Abu Hamzah detonated a bomb that killed herself and her children early Wednesday morning (March 13) inside a house besieged by police in Sibolga, North Sumatra. Police chief Tito Karnavian said late on Tuesday three children were inside the house, and police on Wednesday said the children died in the blast. “A team from the detachment 88 anti terror squad and local community leaders in Sibolga had spent 10 hours persuading her to surrender. We made a strong appeal, stressing minors were involved,” Brig-Gen Dedi said. The blast occurred at about 1.30am local time. Police arrested Husain on Tuesday after a raid in Lampung, in southern Sumatra, over the weekend, where a militant identified as initial R alias P was nabbed. He and Husein are believ


By The Straits Times
March 14, 2019