Red Shirts lead rally against Thailand PM on August 23

Photo via Jatuporn Prompan - จตุพร พรหมพันธุ์

The leader of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship, or Red Shirts, yesterday invited people to protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on August 23, the day before he officially stands down as Thailand’s PM.

The 68 year old prime minister is expected to resign on August 24 after two concurrent four year terms. In Section 158 of the Thai Constitution, a prime minister can only rule for eight years and then stand down. But Gen Prayut is expected to break with constitutional law and stay on for another four years.

Yesterday, the Red Shirts’ leader, Jatuporn Prompan, gave a speech at the October 14th 1973 Memorial Monument in Bangkok at an event called “Cheating… Death for 8 Years, What Thais Should Do with Prayut?” During his speech, Jatuporn invited protestors to gather on Ratchadamnoen Road at 4pm on August 23 to expel the PM.

He urged every protestor to prepare adding they would have a countdown to the resignation of PM Prayut until midnight on August 24.

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Jatuporn added that people had their own choices. If they wanted PM Prayut to remain in the position until 2027, they just needed “to sit and relax at home.” But if people thought that it was time he should go, they should “get up and fight back.”

Jatuporn added that PM Prayut had only 16 days left and if he overstayed his allotted time then he would be “a fake PM.”

Last week, various political activists and MPs discussed the constitutional conundrum.

Prayut was announced as PM by the National Council for Peace and Order on August 24 in 2014 under the interim constitution of Thailand after a military coup on May 22 of that year. Then, he was announced as PM again on June 9 in 2019 in the first election after the coup, which was said to be held to benefit Prayut’s party, Palang Pracharath.

Supporters state that Prayut’s period as PM began when he was officially announced as the PM in 2019, which means he remains in office until 2027. His supporters insist his rise to power in 2014 was as leader of an interim government and it shouldn’t count.

Many political activists have submitted documents to the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) asking the independent government agency to further investigate the total duration of the PM’s time.

Next Tuesday, August 16, and Wednesday, August 17, opposition parties, led by the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, Chonlanan Sikaew, will discuss the PM constitutional topic with the ECT.

SOURCE: BBC | Khaosod

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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