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Amid rumours that the junta will form its own political party to compete in the political arena, the human rights advocacy group iLaw points out that the regime does not need to form a party to prolong its rule.

According to iLaw, under the new political system, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) does not need to establish a political party to prolong its rule.  It can instead rely on the senate.

This is due to the fact that in addition to 500 elected members of the House of Representatives, 250 senators will be appointed by a selection committee whose members are themselves appointed by the NCPO.  

Further, under an innovation crafted by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee, the new constitution gives to the senate the right to vote for the Prime Minister jointly with the lower house.

“It might be that after the next election, the 250 appointed senators will be the majority party or will have a similar number of votes to the majority elected party because the new election system designed by the NCPO makes it impossible for any political party to have a clear majority even though the people are united to vote for that party,” iLaw stated.

Earlier this week, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, told the media that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will establish a political party if it is ‘necessary’, according to Voice TV.

Prawit then dismissed the rumour that the NCPO is supporting the establishment of the Palang Chart Thai Party under the leadership of a military officer named Maj Gen Songklot Thiprat.

He told the media that he did not know who Songklot is and did not know about the party either, insisting that to his knowledge no NCPO officer has been involved in founding a political party.

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