Pro-democracy activists gathered at the Democracy Monument on Constitution Day to remind the public that the junta’s constitution is undemocratic. At 4.50 pm on Thailand’s Constitution Day, 10 December 2017, about 100 people marched from Thammasat University to the Democracy Monument amid tight security. The activity was led by pro-democracy activists Pansak Srithep, Payao Akhad and Rangsiman Rome.
Amid rumours that the junta will form its own political party to compete in the political arena, the human rights advocacy group iLaw points out that the regime does not need to form a party to prolong its rule. According to iLaw, under the new political system, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) does not need to establish a political party to prolong its rule. It can instead rely on the senate.
Forming political alliances, securing military influence, creating extra-parliamentary mechanisms and establishing dominant ideology are things that the ruling junta has learnt from the 2006 wasted coup, says an academic.
Seminal historian Thongchai Winichakul argues that Thailand’s many constitutions have progressively torn power from the people to be placed back in the hands of the King — a process seen most clearly in the latest charter.
Political activists have urged the police to release Jatuphat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, saying the court decision to repeatedly reject his bail requests is ‘unconstitutional’. On 5 May 2017, Chalita Bundhuwong, a Kasetsart University lecturer, and Nuttaa Mahattana, an independent political activist, submitted a letter to Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, Chief of the Royal Thai Police, at the National Police Office in Bangkok.
After almost three years in power and billions of baht spent in drafting the new constitution, the 20th Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand was officially enacted on 6 April 2017. Thailand has gone through 19 constitutions in less than a century and there is no guarantee that the latest one drafted by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee will be the last one.