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July 18, 2007

Ban on new parties, activities lifted
The legislation to allow existing political parties to conduct political activities and the initiation of new political parties was approved by Thailand's National Legislative Assembly on July 18, state news agency TNA reported.

The NLA overwhelmingly endorsed the bill amending Decree No.15, issued by the military junta following last year's coup which ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in order to allow Thailand's existing political parties to conduct political activity or prepare for future election campaigns.

In addition, the amendment will allow setting up a brand-new political party, except for one which might bear the same name, logo or major policy as that of a previously dissolved party.

However, the NLA voted 149 against 4 to assign an ad hoc committee to revise the organic law of the constitution to the extent that the future establishment of a political party with a similar name, logo and major policy as the one earlier dissolved, for instance the Thai Rak Thai party, may be legally allowed after a five years’ time. TNA

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