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Paiboon Nititawan (left) talks to NLA members at Parliament on Friday. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) should continue to run the country until all the results of the next election are endorsed, says Paiboon Nititawan, chairman of the People’s Network for Reform.

The constitution already stipulates that the NCPO would leave after the new prime minister takes office. This means that the Election Commission will have to endorse at least 95% of MPs so they can vote on the premier.

Mr Paiboon’s suggestion effectively means the NCPO could stay on until all MPs are endorsed, which could take 6-12 months or longer considering that mixed-member proportional representation will be used for the first time. 

The former senator and member of the junta-appointed National Reform Steering Assembly, which was dissolved earlier this year, also proposed that either the primary vote be scrapped in the upcoming election or the NCPO lifts the ban on political activities in time for parties to hold it.

He claimed scrapping the primary vote was not unconstitutional.

“I’m personally convinced the NCPO would not abuse its power or make the election unfair because as a state organ, it is constitutionally required to maintain impartiality,” he said.

Mr Paiboon made the comments on Friday after meeting with a special panel of the National Legislative Assembly to give his opinions on how the elections law should be amended.

The other person invited was Suthep Thuagsuban, who declined the NLA’s offer, saying he had said everything in his statement earlier. Mr Suthep headed the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, whose street protests in 2014 paved the way for the military coup.

Mr Painboon said earlier that he would set up a party to support PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in the next election. Thai Rath also reported a new pro-military party, to be called “Pracharat” would likely be founded. Gen Prayut dismissed the rumours as unfounded.

News Reporter

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