Activists defy junta, launch impeachment campaign against Election Commission
Defying the warning by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), pro-democracy activists rallied at the Victory Monument and in the Rajprasong commercial district in Bangkok on Sunday afternoon to launch their impeachment campaign against the Election Commission which they accuse of mishandling the March-24 election.
The skywalk rally near the Victory Monument, led by well-known protester Sirawit Serithiwat alias “Ja New”, was briefly interrupted by city police who ordered the group to remove their table from the skywalk, claiming it violated the Cleanliness Act. The group had erected the table to collect signatures for their campaign to have the seven election commissioners impeached.
The rally was closely observed by Sunai Phasook, advisor to Thailand’s Human Rights Watch, and some former members of the disbanded Thai Raksa Chart party.
Meanwhile, a second self-proclaimed pro-democracy group, led by Anurak Jentavanich and Aekkachai Hongkangvan, occupied the pavement in front of McDonalds at Rajprasong intersection to launch their signature-gathering campaign, also to impeach the seven election commissioners.
About 60 policemen from Lumpini station were deployed at the scene to keep the peace.
A parallel online signature collection campaign has been launched by the group, which claims that about 800,000 signatures have already been collected, 200,000 short of their target.
During the demonstration, the police seized the group’s loudspeakers, claiming that they did not have permission to use them in public.
Anurak read a prepared statement to the crowd saying that, although the election was fraught with irregularities, making it one of the dirtiest in Thailand’s political history, the Pheu Thai party did manage to win more parliamentary seats than the pro-Prayut Palang Pracharat party, although the latter won the popular vote.
In the statement, the group demanded that the party which won the most house seats should have the priority in forming the new government, not the party which won the highest number of votes nationally.