A special order issued by the prime minister, which became law Friday following its publication in the
The order comes two days after enactment of laws covering the selection of members of
The military banned virtually all formal political party activities after it took over from an elected government in a
Friday’s order, issued under an emergency law the military enacted after seizing power, said restrictions are still necessary to make sure the country, which it says is now “relatively stable,” is on track to achieve the government’s reform goals.
Critics have said that a new constitution and other laws enacted under military rule weaken democratic structures with the intention of limiting the power of elected politicians and keeping it in the hands of traditional Thai powerholders, including the judiciary and the military. For example, all senators in the next government will be appointed by the ruling junta, apart from six senatorial positions which automatically go to army and police chiefs.
Friday’s six-page order allows parties to establish budgets and gather funds from their members. It also allows parties to make rule changes, recruit new members, and choose leaders on the condition that the junta is informed at least five days in advance.
Thawatchai Terdpaothai, a member of the
Abhisit Vejjajiva, the leader of the