ISSUING a statement at the Democracy Monument today (August 21) calling on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down on Wednesday August 24 when he completes eight years in power were 38 activist groups from four regions, Matichon newspaper said.
The event was led by Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, from Thammasat Coalition and Assembly together with other prominent activists including Ms. Thanaphon Wichan, from the Labour Network for People’s Rights, Mr. Thatchapong Kaedam, or Boy, and Mr. Thanaphat Kapheng from Thalu Fah group, Ms. Natanit Duangmusit, or Bai Por, and Ms. Netiporn Sanehsangkhom, or Nong Bong, from the New Workers Union and representatives from the Dome Revolution Party at Thammasat University.
The group of around 30 activists had intended to assemble at Sanam Luang ground at 10 a.m. but upon being blocked by police from going in marched to the Democracy Monument and read out their statement there.
During their march to the monument they displayed banners with messages pressuring Prayut to quit including “Let it end at eight years” and “Prayut get out.”
Rung then read out their joint statement which in parts said the Prayut Chan-o-cha era must end.
She cited the 2017 constitution which in Section 158 paragraph 4 says that the Prime Minister may not hold the office for more than eight years regardless of whether consecutively or not but this does not include continuing to perform duties after stepping down.
Section 170, paragraph two of the 2017 Constitution also states that the premiership ends as stated in Section 158 paragraph 4.
The activist groups also sent a message to the president of the Constitutional Court to issue a ruling on the prime minister’s tenure according to the 2017 constitution by Wednesday August 24. If not then the court should issue an order for Prayut to stop performing duties until the ruling is issued.
The demands they want met before the next general election are as follows:
1) Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign immediately;
2) If Prayut refuses to step down then the Constitutional Court must issue its ruling by August 24;
3) Parliament amend Article 272 of the Constitution and stop senators from joining in the selection of the prime minister with this to be completed before the next general election.
Representatives of the 38 activist groups issuing their statement urging Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to quit. Photos: Matichon