[BANGKOK] Thailand's junta has lifted a ban on political campaigning ahead of 2019 elections, an order published by the Royal Gazette said Tuesday, more than four years after it was introduced following the kingdom's latest coup.
One of the military's first acts after seizing power in May 2014 was to outlaw political activity of all kinds as it headed off opposition in a country notorious for its rowdy -- and often deadly -- street politics.
But the ban was officially lifted on Tuesday, with a return to polls slated for February 24.
"Political parties should be able to campaign to present their policies," an order in palace mouthpiece the Royal Gazette said.
The junta "has decided to amend or abolish the laws" which could inhibit campaigns before elections.
Restrictions began to be eased in September, allowing political parties to recruit new members and elect leaders. But campaigns and street rallies remained banned.