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Activists challenge the Thai PM with three demands



Pro-election activists threatened to march to Government House on the fourth anniversary of the 2014 coup if the ruling junta fails to respond to their call for an election in November.

The NCPO seized power on May 22, 2014 in a bloodless coup on the premise that it needed to stop Thai’s protesting violently in the streets of Bangkok.

The activists are standing firm on their stance that the next election must be held this year, according to protest leader Rangsiman Rome during a demonstration at Thammasat University over the weekend.

The demands are… Have an election, this year in November, as promised by the PM (before he pushed the date forward for the forth time to February 2019). Before the election, the junta – the National Council for Peace and Order – must change its role as an administering government to that of a caretaker only to facilitate the holding of an election. And lastly, the Army should stop supporting the NCPO’s political rule, he added.

The weekend’s protests were the sixth in a series against the regime, calling for a general election which was last held in the country in 2011. In February 2014, the Pheu Thai-led government had called an election that was aborted by anti-government rallies. The current pro-election protests began late January following the release of the organic law governing the election of MPs.

The junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly laid out in the law that its enforcement be put off by three months after promulgation, naturally delaying the election by the same amount of time. The move contradicted a statement by Prayut, who is also the NCPO leader, late last year that the next election would be held in November. The activities to demand an election this year are expected to be intense this month, as May 22 marks the fourth anniversary of the coup.

On Saturday more than 400 people took part in the peaceful demonstration, packing the venue – the Pridi Banomyong Park – inside the TU campus. Some 600 security officers reportedly were deployed to observe and keep a record of the activity.

Despite the continuous attempts by the group to apply pressure on the junta, political critic and activist Ekachai Chainuvati admitted it was difficult for the demonstration to be successful.

“We cannot expect hundreds of thousands or millions of people to come out on May 22 this year, considering the strict law enforcement on public assembly through use of the junta order. So, it would not be as successful as the People’s Democratic Reform Committee’s movement before the coup and not as violent as the Black May riots of 1992.” He predicts activists will be arrested for the planned demonstrations leading up to May 22.

Activists challenge the Thai PM with three demands | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation


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