A demonstration was held at the Victory Monument BTS station sky walk earlier this afternoon to protest against another potential delay to the general election, previously planned for 24 February 2019.
Today’s demonstration was the first since General Prayut Chan-o-cha, head of the NCPO and Prime Minister, issued NCPO Order No. 22/2018, which repealed 9 previous NCPO orders, including Order No. 3/2015, which prohibited political gatherings of more than five people.
The event was attended by many activists, including Ekkachai Hongkangwan, Chokchai Phaibunratchata, Nattha Mahatthana, Sirawit ‘Ja New’ Serithiwat, Patnaree Charnkij, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, and Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak.
Piyabutr Saengkanokkul and Rangsiman Rome, members of the Future Forward Party, were also in attendance.
Nattha Mahatthana said that the event was held under the right to hold peaceful demonstrations. The organizers notified the authorities 24 hours in advance, in compliance with the Public Assembly Act, and the demonstrators promised that there would be no violence.
Attorney and activist Anon Nampha went to Phayathai Police Station yesterday to inform the authorities of the demonstration, as required by the Public Assembly Act.
The demonstration was also attended by both high school and university students, including high school members of the Education for Liberation Siam group, who were calling for a re-scheduling of the GAT and PAT examinations, previously moved to accommodate the election schedule, as well as for a general election. A 2nd year student from Mahidol University at the demonstration told Prachatai that this was their first time at such an event, since previous events clashed with classes and other university activities. The student said that they came to the demonstration because they do not want the election to be delayed any further. “In fact it is not okay to be having an election only now,” said the student, “it hasn’t been okay since we had the military coup.”
The demonstration ended around 5.00 pm, after Anon Nampha told the participants that there will be another event at the Ratchaprasong sky walk on Tuesday (8 January) evening.