Thailand’s student leaders say they do not trust the prime minister’s plans to amend the constitution by the end of the year and said they would continue the rally to pressure the government to resign.
Student-led pro-democracy protests have gripped the country for the past four months with demonstrators calling on the Prayut Chan-ocha government to resign, for the government to re-draft the military-backed charter and for the government to stop harassing dissidents.
The protests have taken place throughout the entire country with tens of thousands of demonstrators regularly taking to the street to demand a change of government.
The government reconvened the parliament early on Monday to deal with the ongoing political crisis with the prime minister promising to address charter amendments by year’s end.
Prayut said that once the amendments were drafted, there would still need to be a referendum before the new constitution was promulgated. The prime minister said he has no plans to resign.
Student protesters were unconvinced by the premier’s offer however. At a rally on Monday evening, several leaders told Thai Enquirer that the offer by the government should not be trusted.
“I think these are just words to buy time, they are just words to relieve the pressure he is feeling from the protesters,” protest leader Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon told Thai Enquirer. “Personally, I think Prayut Chan-ocha has not done enough to push forward the constitution has not appeared willing to do it.”
Patsaravalee was recently arrested by the government and held overnight without charge for leading a previous protests.
“The constitution came along with a coup, so we cannot trust the Prayut government,” said protest leader Jutatip Sirikhan. “If we let them amend the constitution then it will just be drafted so that it benefits them again.”
The protest core leaders said that they would continue to rally and it would be up to the leaders of the government to show good faith by resigning and pushing forward constitutional amendments.