Youth protest leaders apathetic about Thammanat’s exit, calls for true democracy

Youth and pro-democracy protest leaders dismissed, on Thursday, news that infighting in the ruling party could lead to an early house dissolution and elections.

The exit of Thammanat Prompao and the 20 other members of parliament from Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) made headlines on Thursday morning for its implications in the wider political context.

Analysts argued that Thammanat’s exit could severely hamper Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s ability to govern and pass laws and could see early polls.

But youth protesters, speaking to Thai Enquirer, dismissed the idea and called it part of the “political game.”

For young protest leaders, the event was nothing uncommon and said they would continue to try and awaken the country from its political slumber.

Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, a young activist from the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group, told Thai Enquirer that while change was not uncommon in Thai politics, she would urge members of the public to closely follow events.

“The politicians are just performing another drama,” she said. “We need to follow every step closely to see what will possibly happen.”

Panusaya said a new election was welcomed but warned that it must be contested fairly. She has protested for over a year on reforming the senate so that it was not fully appointed by the military.

“The election will be Thailand’s new hope. We all are waiting to use our voices to expel the dictators,” she said.

Thatchapong Kadum, a pro-democracy activist, told Thai Enquirer that the exit of Thammanat and 20 MPs does not change the fact that Thai politics is a game.

“It’s all about power to negotiate in the parliament. It’s a game that they have planned all along.”

Thatchapong also said that the election will change nothing unless the people use it to amplify and get across their message.

“The election is a political game we all need to participate in to change it,” he said.

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