Activists demand election to be held on schedule in November

A small group of political activists gathered at Pathumwan intersection’s skywalk Saturday evening (Jan 27) to demand the government to honor its promise to hold the election in November this year instead of February or March next year.

Led by Rangsimun Rome, Sirawith Seritiwat, and Nattha Mahatthana, the Democratic Rehabilitation group claimed that the public had wanted the election to be held in November as originally promised by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The group called on the Nation Council for Peace and Order to stop harassing a group of activists who have been embarking on a long march from Bangkok to Khon Kaen.  It also announced that its members would hold a rally every week at the same spot until May 22 which coincides with the 4th anniversary of the coup by the NCPO to topple the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, or until the general election is held.

During the rally on Saturday, a few veteran activists showed up on the sideline to observe the rally by the Democratic Rehabilitation group.  Among them were the yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid, secretary-general of the People’s Network against Corruption, and red-shirt supporter Sombat Boonngamanong.

“Now, it is not about the issue of colours of the shirts.  It is about unified force to protest against corruption because we can’t depend on the government any more,” said Mr Veera.

Mr Sombat, meanwhile, said the 90-day extension of the enforcement of the bill for the election of MPs was against public sentiment.

About 100 uniformed and plainclothes policemen were on hand at the site of the rally to ensure peace and order.

Pol Col Charut Sarutyayaporn, deputy commander of the 6th subdivision of Metropolitan Police Bureau, said their presence at the rallying site was not intended to break up the rally but to prevent untoward incident from occurring.

The rally dispersed at about 8 pm without any untoward incident.

In a rare get-together, yellow-shirt activist Veera Somkwamkid (right) and red-shirt supporter Sombat Boonngamanong talk to reporters during the gathering.

 

A participant holds a mobile phone bearing the phrase “Time’s up”.

 

Pro-democracy activist and lawyer Anon Nampa speaks to demonstrators.