PHEU THAI PARTY STATEMENT : A Protest against the Order No. 53/2560 made by the Head of the NCPO


A Protest against the
Order No. 53/2560 made by the Head of the NCPO

The Head of the NCPO issued the
order no. 53/2560 dated December 22, 2017 which further amends the Law on
Political Parties, B.E. 2560 and which will have significant consequences to
the political parties and their members, as follows:

1.  Members of political
parties who wish to remain within their parties shall have to submit a written
confirmation of their intention to their party heads.  They shall also submit proof of their
qualifications, proof that they do not have prohibitive traits and shall pay
their membership fees within 30 days, effective April 1, 2018.  If these procedures are not completed within
the deadline, it shall then be considered that they are no longer members of
their parties.  Since this order came
into effect, party members are not able to exercise their membership rights,
which tantamount to an”ing all political membership.  By having the party members confirm their
intentions and submit proof of their qualification is no different from
applying to become a new member.  This
order thus does not recognise existing party members until their written
confirmation is submitted to the party heads, therefore is a resetting of party

2.  All parties shall hold their
general meetings to amend their regulations, elect executive directors,
establish branches and appoint 
provincial representatives, all of which must be done within 90 days
from the date that the NCPO’s orders no. 57/2557 and no. 3/2558 are
lifted.  It is uncertain  when these orders may be lifted.  If they are lifted nearer to the election
date then the parties may not have enough time to prepare and so they may not
be able to send in their candidates.

3.  Any activity to be taken by
the political parties must have the NCPO’s prior approval.  Should a deadline needs to be extended, the
period of extension shall be equal to the initial period, even though the law
on political parties allows an extension for up to 3 years.  If all the required procedures are not
completed, the parties will not be allowed to field their candidates and will
not be eligible to allocate their parties’ supporting funds.  This is deemed as a double lock for the
parties and causes uncertainty for them.

4.  New political parties may
proceed to be set up.  They may hold
meetings to elect their leaders and draw up their regulations.  They will only need to get approval from the
NCPO to hold meetings to set up their parties. 
By law, this shows inequality – and not solving it.

Pheu Thai Party sees that the
order issued by the NCPO leader goes against 
the provisions of the constitution, lacks moral, breaches the rights and
freedom of party members, gives opportunity to some political groups to set up
political parties and pave way for the NCPO to hold on to power.  These actions erode the existing parties and
are not helping them as claimed.  Pheu
Thai Party would like to make a statement to protest the NCPO leader’s order
no. 53/2560, as follows:

1.  The 2017 constitution was
approved by the people through the referendum; therefore, the constitution was
established by the people.  Any changes
to the constitution or any changes to the roles of organizations that come
under the constitution, being the highest law of the land, must abide by
it.  According to the constitution,
Article 131 stipulates that the parliament has the power to amend the
constitution acts and clearly sets the methods to do so.  Presently the National Legislative Assembly
(NLA) takes the role of parliament and under Article 263, amendments to the
constitution acts must be done by the NLA. 
Whereas, the NCPO is merely an organization that was subsequently given
the power by the constitution.  By
exercising power to amend the constitution acts in lieu of the NLA, the NCPO
leader has taken actions that is not in line with the constitution and is not
legal.  This is as adjudicated by the
Constitutional Court, ref. 18-22/2555 dated July 13, 2012.

2.  The use of power, Article
44, by the NCPO leader under the interim constitution 2014 together with
Article 265 of the 2017 Constitution must not be the case that such mandate has
been designated to other organizations specifically. Therefore,
order no.  53/2560 issued by the head of
NCPO to further amend the 2017 Constitution act on political parties, which
should be the authority of the NLA, does not fall under the criteria stipulated
in Article 44 as it is not for actions taken to create reforms or to create
unity; to prevent or to quell incidents that disturb peace, order, stability of
the country’s economy or governance. 
Such actions are to be considered an overrule of the legal process as
given in the constitution.  The reason
that the NCPO issued this order is to solve the problem it had created when it
issued the order no. 57/2557 prohibiting political parties to hold political
activities.  The order is still in force,
without any reason.  Such an order,
therefore, goes against the constitution and is not righteous.

3.  The actions of the NCPO
leader continue to breach the rights and freedom of members of the political
parties.  Starting with the continued
enforcement of the order no. 57/2557 that bans the parties from holding
political activities, even though the 2017 Constitution has now come into
effect and guarantees the individual freedom to come together to set up
political parties and take part in political activities.  When the law on political parties came into
effect, it stipulates that political parties must proceed to take the necessary
actions in various areas; while the NCPO has still not lifted the ban.  Today, its leader has made further amendments
to the law on political parties by stipulating a reset of the existing party
members; setting conditions that the activities that are required by law will
have to be approved again by the NCPO; the parties will have to wait till the
NCPO lifts its order nos. 57/2557 and 3/2558 before they can hold their general
meetings or establish their branches or appoint their provincial representatives.  The NCPO leader has never shown any respect
for the constitution nor the law and it does not respect the individual rights
of others even though the problems that arose, and still exist, did not come
from the political parties but came entirely from the NCPO. This action thus
destroys the political party system of the people.

4.  The Party sees that the
NCPO’s actions will create an opportunity for political groups that want to
support it and that the NCPO’s leader will be able to hold on to power through
this order as these groups will be able to hold meetings in order to set up
political parties, elect their leaders and draw up their party regulations –
all by merely asking permission to hold meetings from the NCPO; whereas, the
existing parties are not allowed to do so. 
It has been known that only a few days before this order was issued,
some political groups had called for the re-set of the party members, citing
equality for the existing parties and those that will be newly set up.  The order issued by the NCPO leader was in
line with this call.

What the head
of the NCPO has done is not based on equality nor for the benefit of political
parties, as claimed.  Rather, it is to
destroy the existing parties and to support the new parties that will be set

5.  According to the
Constitution Article 224 (5) stipulates that the Election Commission has the
duty and power to supervise the activities by the political party to abide by
the law and the law on political parties, B.E. 2560, Article 23 also stipulates
that the election committee shall be the one to respond to the political
parties or the candidates, should they have any problems with following the
laws on election or on political parties. 
Under this Article, the chairman of the election committee shall also be
the acting person.  However, clause 7 of
the order gives authority to the NCPO to be able to respond to these questions
thus the NCPO exercises power in violation to the Constitution and gives itself
power to interfere with the processes and procedures of the political parties
and elections even though it does not have any authority to do so under the
constitution and the law.  Moreover,
clause 8 of the order stipulates that organizations that form part of the NCPO
shall be able to have discussions with the election committee in order to
coordinate to draw up the plans and the process that leads to the
election.  This tantamount to the NCPO’s
intervention into the workings of the political party registrar and to the
election committee, even though there are regulations and procedures in place.

6.  The period for political
parties to start their activities has been set for April 1, 2018 till October
2018, or until the NCPO lifts its ban. 
The order issued by the NCPO leader points out their hidden intent to
have the election date move further from the set date in November 2018.  This is because when the time comes, the
parties may not be able to complete their procedures or send electoral candidates
in time, so this could become the excuse for the NCPO to have the election

Pheu Thai Party sees that the
above order issued by the NCPO leader goes against the constitution, is
definitely unrighteous; is a blatant use of authority without respect to the
constitution and the law; aims to destroy the political party system and the
rights and freedom of their members; adds on unnecessary burden for party
members; paves way for the setup of political parties that support the NCPO and
its leader so that it can hold on to power. 
Also as the NCPO also hold the position of Prime Minister which is a
political position, issuing such orders is an attempt to leverage power to gain
a political advantage which violates good governance.  We ask that the NCPO lift the said order, as
well as its order no. 57/2557 and no. 3/2558 issued by its chief which is the
root cause of the NCPO’s excuse in issuing this order.  Pheu Thai Party shall submit this case up to
the Constitution Court for their consideration.

For the kind information.

Pheu Thai Party
December 27, 2017.