The Thai
Constitution 2017, the highest law of the land, promulgated since April 6,
2017, guarantees the rights and freedom of the people and clearly sets out the
roles of the various organizations. 
However, the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had
used Article 265 and Article 44 of the interim charter 2014 to issue orders
that infringe on the rights and freedom of individuals and continually intrudes
into authorities of other organizations. 
This significantly affects the legal and political systems.  For example, the NCPO Chief’s order no.
53/2560 that annuls and amends the organic law on Political Parties 2017.  Some Articles also had a widespread
implications on the existing political parties even though there were no ample
reasons for such actions to be taken. 
Pheu Thai Party and other political parties had submitted petitions to
the Ombudsman who finally declared that the NCPO’s order no. 53/2560 was
questionable and had the order passed up to the Constitution Court.

Pheu Thai Party sees
that it is very irregular and inappropriate to have such authorities under
Article 44 as it is devoid of any investigative systems and has no
accountability [in the aftermath]. Were it to be used, it should then be used
within the context of the Constitution, which is contrary to how it has been
used in the past by the NCPO Chief on several occasions, thereby causing damage
and affecting the value of what the Constitution and  the democratic system, with the King as Head
of State, stand for.  [Article 44] goes
against the rule of law, leads to the use of power at will and affects the
country’s legal system.  The Party would
therefore like to express our opinion and make the following demands:

The use of Article 44, as used by the NCPO chief
in issuing order no. 53/2560 and other such orders, not only goes against the
Constitution, infringes on the individual’s rights and freedom and goes against
the rule of law, but what is more important is that it only takes the authority
of a single person to amend laws that were passed by the legislators – which
was done in accordance with the Constitution, been approved by the
Constitutional Court, been signed by the King and been promulgated as law.  The said law had only been in effect for
about two months so if it had to be amended, it should have been passed on to
the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) who is responsible to deliberate on it.
But [the NCPO chief] had used his own authority, all by himself, which is not
within the Constitution for him to do so. 
Therefore, it cannot be construed in any other way except that the order
no. 53/2560, issued by the NCPO chief, is a pretext to destroy the existing
political parties and to support the new parties that will be established, with
the intent of staying on in power – as our Party had mentioned in our earlier statements.

The use of Article 44 by
the NCPO chief in the past could be considered as exercising power at one’s own
will in order gain power without the basis of careful consideration and
rational validation.  Some [orders] are
distorted and self-contradicting causing problems in following them, especially
the order no. 53/2560 which shows the intention to
create problems for the existing parties while benefiting the new parties that
will be formed, including the parties that will support them to remain in
power.  The contents of the orders
infringe on the rights and freedom of the parties and their members; annul and
set new conditions for the existing parties and shut down all branches of the
existing parties with no reasons.  This
affected the rights and benefits of the parties and their members for which
they had rightfully gained by law.  More
importantly, it shows that the NCPO chief is able to, all by himself, make
significant amendments to the organic law on Political Parties 2017
which sets out the status of existing party members and party branches
without having it deliberated by Parliament. These two issues have created
problems for the existing parties, which should not have happened.  Moreover, the conditions make it more
difficult for the parties to set up their branches and hold their general
meetings which can only be done when the NCPO order no. 57/2557
and the NCPO chief’s order no. 3/2558 are lifted.  However, the orders can only be lifted when
the organic law on the election of the Members of the House of Representatives
come into effect and it is known that the NLA had extended the effective date
of this bill by another 90 days while the bill will also have
to be presented to the Constitutional Court for deliberation on its
constitutional rights.  Therefore, the
order is deemed to obstruct the reform process of political parties that focus
on having people participation and create difficulties for the existing parties
to carry out their activities in order to give advantage to their own parties
and the parties that will only support them.

The government conceded that the NCPO chief’s
order no. 53/2560 is self-contradictory and has flaws and announced that this
was due to some administrative problems which will be corrected.  This goes to show the carelessness and total
misunderstanding when issuing orders. 
Even though order no. 53/2560, clause 1, that amends the bill on political
parties in Article 141 clearly stated that a general meeting to set out the
party manifestations and elect the party head, etc., shall be done within 90
days from the date that orders nos. 57/2557 and 3/2558 are lifted.  This conflicts with the order no. 53/2560.

Pheu Thai Party sees that if the order no.
53/2560 is still in effect, it will be damaging for the existing parties and
their members and create problems in following through with  the order in several areas.  This is not productive to the political
system; it had caused much damage to the parties that had to have their
branches closed down; party members had a lot of difficulties in  reconfirming their membership status; the
process of drawing up the party policies that took into consideration the
comments from their members, was totally broken down.  Therefore, keeping the order no. 53/2560 in
effect is a drastic obstacle for political parties in their move forward.  Besides, it does not create a good atmosphere
for the up-coming election.  Hence, the
order should be lifted so that the parties may proceed according to the
original organic law on Political Parties. 
The period for which the parties may start their administrative
operations should be from the day that the ban is lifted.

Moreover, the
Party sees that  there is no
reason or need for the NCPO to keep up the ban on political parties in carrying
out their administrative duties, as stated in its announcement no. 57/2557 and
the NCPO chief’s order no. 3/2558,
because the organic law on Political
Parties was promulgated since October 8, 2017, but this has not been put into
practice as yet.  Political parties are
still unable to hold their meetings or take any actions as stated in the law.  By keeping the said orders in effect goes to
show that the NCPO sees itself as being above the Constitution and the law and
that its announcements and orders carry more weight than the laws that were
enacted by Parliament.  This is a
distortion of the country’s legal system and its principles, or, it could be
said that there has been “legal cheating” going on.  The best way out would be to lift the
said ban as soon as possible.

Pheu Thai Party
sees that the NCPO must do everything it can in order to have the country
follow the democratic process in which the King is Head of State.  The people must be able to exercise their
rights freely.  The NCPO chief,
especially, must respect and follow the Constitution and the law – in the same
way that he calls on the people to observe the law and end the use of Article
44 and any other activities that have hidden agenda.  The Party shall continue to closely monitor
and investigate the use authorities by the NCPO and its leader.

For the kind
information of all.

Thai Party

5, 2018