Six opposition parties announce support for pro-democracy rally on September 19

Leaders of six opposition parties have announced on Thursday that they will support the pro-democracy rally at Thammasat University on September 19.

The parties include Pheu Thai, Move Forward, Seri Ruam Thai (Thai Liberal), Prachachart, Pheu Chart (For the Nation) and Thai People Power Party.

Sompong Amornvivat, Pheu Thai’s leader, said the current economic, political and social conditions are entering a crisis period due to the “mismanagement” and the “ineffectiveness” of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha and his administration.

He said that not only current government have failed to provide justice for the people, they are also the root cause of the current conflict.

He said they have written up the pragmatic constitution and that they are intentionally creating a rift between people in society while leading the country into a political dead-end.

The parties have provided three stand points to support the student led pro-democracy rally on September 19, which include:

  1. Protestors are allowed to conduct a political demonstration because it is within their constitutional rights. Therefore, the government must open a proper venue that is safe for people to express their political opinions and grievances. The parties are against the unjust use of law to apprehend protestors and their leaders and are against all forms of state violence – including a military crackdown on protestors.
  2. To support the amendments to the charter that was written to help with the transition of the Junta’s illegitimate power to the current administration as well as to support the rewriting of the constitution, which should be done by a charter writing committee that is fully elected by the people.
  3. To urge the senators and other agencies related to constitutional amendment process to abolish Section 272 of the constitution, which grants senators the power to vote for the selection of a Prime Minister.

Sompong said the protestors are going to be unarmed therefore there will be no unrest, but he is worried that the people in power will be the ones causing trouble.

Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, leader of the Prachachart Party, said that Thammasat University’s decision to announce that they will not allow protestors to use its Tha Prachan campus for the rally has tarnished the university’s reputation.

He asked for them to reconsider the decision since the university belongs to the people, not the school administration nor the government.

Phumtham Wechayachai, an adviser to the leader of the opposition, said he wants the government to provide a space for the rally to ensure safety for protestors to protest in accordance to the law.

Chatawat Tulaton, Move Forward’s secretary-general, said the reason why student protestors are talking about the constitutional monarchy now is because the monarchy institution has been used as an excuse to conduct various coups to overthrow elected governments in the past –including the previous two.

“The people who have used the institution to involve with political conflicts, including that of coup-makers and military leaders, must be responsible for the current conflict within the society,” he said.     

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