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Thailand interim government ends ban on political activities

[JURIST] Thailand's interim-government [JURIST report] Monday lifted a ban on political activities that had been in place since the 2006 bloodless coup [JURIST report], which will allow the dissolved [JURIST report] political party Thai Rak Thai (TRT) [official website, in Thai] to reform. The ban, which was lifted by Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [official website; BBC profile] and his cabinet, will have to be backed by legislation passed in the National Assembly of Thailand [official website, in Thai] that will resume the registration of new political parties. Thailand's Council of State [official website, in Thai], which considers and prepares draft legislation, is expected to present a proposal to the cabinet and national assembly next week.

Demonstrators gathered last Friday to protest [JURIST report] the order by the Constitutional Court dissolving Thai Rak Thai. The order also banned former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra [BBC profile] and 11 other TRT officials from holding political offices for five years. Also on Friday, Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile], the leader of the coup, said on state television that he backed an amnesty [JURIST report] for the banned officials. AFP has more.

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