Political activists hold a press conference on Thursday, urging voters to support the “democracy camp” and prevent senators from having a say in the election of a prime minister. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
A political activist group demanded on Thursday that the House of Representatives be quickly dissolved, with clear election rules in place, to allow voters to elect a new government.
The Ratsadon group said a general election should be held as soon as possible and vowed to begin piling pressure on political parties to force the government to dissolve the lower house.
A general election is scheduled for no later than May 7 next year on the assumption that the House completes its four-year term on March 23.
Although nationwide polls are due in seven months, the Ratsadon group said they favoured a much quicker return to the ballot boxes, so the people could decide on the future of the country.
“We will not sit idle and wait for that time to come,” Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakitvibulpon said, reading out the statement.
“Ratsadon demands the House be dissolved, to immediately return power to the people,” she said.
The demand was announced at Thammasat University Tha Phrachan campus, as people gathered there to mark the 46th anniversary of the Oct 6, 1976 massacre. (continues below)
A woman places a wreath at the Historical Sculpture Park in the university, marking the 46th anniversary of the massacre on Oct 6, 1976. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
The group said it would hold activities targeted at political parties, to exert pressure on the government to call a snap election.
It also demanded the Constitutional Court rule on two controversial organic bills on the election of MPs and on political parties, to kick start the general election.
The Election Commission was urged to set clear pre-election rules and the cabinet to inform all state agencies to prepare for a general election.
The Ratsadon group urged voters to support parties in the “democracy camp” to keep the Senate from having a vote in choosing a new prime minister.
A prime minister needs at least 376 votes at a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and Senate under the current constitution. If a political party wins 376 seats, it does not need an input from other parties or the senators in choosing a prime minister.
Jatupat Boonpattarakraksa, known as “Pai Dao Din”, stressed the need to “end parties supporting dictatorship” and “switch off” the role of the senators in voting for a new prime minister.
“The campaign is kicked off today and it runs until election day,” the activist said.