Democracy activists say junta only want to maintain its power after charter draft was rejected

An anti-junta activist group has urged the junta to step down after the 2015 charter draft was rejected on Sunday, saying that the junta only wants to hold on to its power.

The New Democracy Movement (NDM), a well known anti-junta activist group many of whose members were detained in late June for anti-junta gatherings , announced the group’s stand against the military government at Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus, on Sunday 4 pm, 6 September 2015.

Pongnarin Nonkam, the NDM representative, stated that since the beginning from the process of drafting the charter until the National Reform Council (NRC)’s vote to reject the draft on Sunday, the junta was only putting up a show to convince people that it maintains the rule of law, but the regime’s intention is only to maintain power.

“[We] don’t accept the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) attempt to maintain its power and urge the NCPO to show its responsibility for failing to govern the country in every dimensions. Otherwise, the NDM will continue to struggle against the regime,” Pongnarin read the group’s statement.

Sirawit Serithiwat, aka, Ja New, another well known anti-junta activist affiliated with a pro-democracy group, Resistant Citizen, said that the process to draft the 2015 constitution has nothing related to the people and that even though the NRC voted to reject the draft the the new batch of the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) would all be appointed by the junta.

He added that this would lead to an endless cycle of political conundrum unless the junta step down and allow people to elect the new CDC members.

Rangsima Rome, an NDM member who was detained for about two weeks in June-July 2015, pointed that after one-year, three-months, and 16-days in power, the junta and its appointed governing institutions namely the NRC, CDC, and the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) have not succeed in anything besides arresting political dissents.

Rangsiman said that the junta should be held responsible for every single baht of taxpayers’ money that it spent on drafting the 2015 charter.

On Sunday morning, the the majority of NRC members, 135, voted against the 2015 charter draft while 105 voted to pass it and seven abstained from voting. After the result was publicised, many people frowned eyebrows over the fact that the majority of high ranking military and police officers in the NRC voted against the charter draft.

Of the 32 high-ranking military and police officers appointed to the NRC, 27 voted to reject the 2015 constitution on Sunday while two abstained from voting and the rest approved it.

The NDM activists holding banners says “Stop putting up a show to maintain [your] power” at Thammasat University Tha Prachan Campus on 6 September 2015

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”