Pro-election group plans March 10 major anti-government rally

Pro-election activists have vowed to hold a major rally on March 10 to protest against the military government and to demand the restoration of democracy.

A core leader of the group, Mr Rangsiman Rome, urged members of the public as well as politicians to join their protest on March 10 at a location somewhere between Thammasat University and Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

The group gathered at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus on late Saturday afternoon (Feb 24) and staged a Hyde-park style rally, with core members among them Mr Rangsiman, Sirawith Serithiwat, Piyarat Chongthep and Anon Nampa taking turns to go up the stage to address the small audience.

Mr Rangsiman said that the group would use the three-finger salute as their symbol to represent their three objectives: to call for election this year; to throw out dictatorship and to restore democracy.

The rally, the third pro-election gathering after the Jan 27 and the Feb 10 gatherings, was joined by Watana Muangsook, a core member of the Pheu Thai party, who said that he merely wanted to give moral support to the young activists and to declare himself their ally.

The outspoken former Pheu Thai MP said he was not worried that his participation in the rally would be misinterpreted as being the sponsor behind the pro-election movement.  

Personally, he said, in his capacity as an eligible voter, he didn’t think it was strange for a man like him to demand the government to keep its promise about the election.

Commenting on the National Legislative Assembly’s rejection of the seven candidates for the Election Commission, Mr Watana said the NLA’s move was unusual, but he thought it was good because all the seven candidates were not legally selected.

Mr Sirawith called on members of the public to join their next major demonstration in a show of force to demand restoration of democracy.