By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A MASSIVE PETITION IN PURSUIT of local autonomy for which the constitution may be amended accordingly was lodged at parliament today (July 11).
Move Forward Party and Progressive Movement Group jointly submitted the petition endorsed by 80,772 signatures of people nationwide and primarily designed to establish local autonomy in all provinces of the country, beginning with the proposed amendment to some articles of the constitution pertaining to local administration.
Pannika Wanich of Progressive Movement said the activist group has spent a three-month time to muster support of those 80,772 people in all regions of the country in search of local autonomy under which the government may not only allocate funds and distribute administrative powers to all local administrative bodies but have provincial governors nationwide elected by the local people instead of being appointed by the Ministry of Interior.
The proponents said the sought-after local autonomy could be established in line with the elections for heads of the provincial administrative organisations, subdistrict, town or city municipalities and subdistrict administrative organisations.
Pannika concluded that it is time the provincial and local administrations nationwide be decentralised from Bangkok once and for all for the sake of truly democratic rule.
Parit Wacharasindhu, director of Move Forward Party’s Communications & Policy Campaigns, said the people across the country may follow suit of May’s election for Bangkok governor which saw former transport minister/non-partisan candidate Chadchart Sittipunt sweep up a landslide victory.
Parit insisted that the election for such a provincial head in the style of Bangkok’s gubernatorial race be held in all provinces of the country as well.
Instrumental in the popular campaign to “unlock” the local administration were Progressive Movement leaders Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Piyabutr Saengkanokkul who had earlier performed as top leader and secretary-general of a dissolved Future Forward Party respectively.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether a majority of lawmakers in both the House of Representatives and Senate will ever amend the articles of the constitution pertaining to local administration to pave the way for the sought-after local autonomy.
Top: Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Front Page: Move Forward Party members. Photo: Matichon