BANGKOK (AFP) –
The toppled Thai opposition on Thursday called on the ruling junta to lift the ban on political activities as the countdown begins for the kingdom’s first election since a 2014 coup.
King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorsed two bills on Wednesday that clear the bureaucratic hurdles to a poll, which has been promised and delayed for years by the junta. An election is required to take place by May.
Junta critics want to hold political gatherings, which have been banned since a coup four years ago toppled the Puea Thai government led by Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female premier.
“We demand for the junta to lift the political activities ban as soon as possible,” Pichai Naripthaphan, an ex-minister in Yingluck’s cabinet, told AFP.
“As the country heads to an election, we need to create a good atmosphere so that people can express their opinions.”
Senior junta figures…