Illustrative image (Source: nationmultimedia.com)

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