19 July 2024

Political activist groups rallied again today (Sunday) at the Democracy Monument, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha by August 24th, contending that his 8-year term in the office is due to end on that date.

The groups are also demanding that the Constitutional Court issue a ruling on the prime minister’s term in office by August 24th and that parliament amend Section 272 of the Constitution, to strip senators of the right to elect the prime minister.

Key figures in the protest groups include Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, of the Ratsadon group, and two monarchy reformist activists, Netiporn Sanesangkhom and Nutthanit Duangmusit.

The groups initially planned to rally at Sanam Luang, but they were blocked by the police who told them that the venue was off-limits. They then relocated to the nearby Democracy Monument.

Carrying posters reading “Prayut Get Out” and “Make It End in Eight Years; Enough for an Unlawful Prime Minister”, the 30 plus protesters marched from Sanam Luang to the Democracy Monument as they chanted “Prayut Get Out.”

At the Democracy Monument, representatives of the groups read their prepared statements criticising Prayut’s allegedmismanagement and failure to address the nation’s pressing problems.

Opposition parties, academics and pro-democracy groups areinsisting that the prime minister’s 8-year term in office ends on August 24th, because he was sworn into office on August 24th, 2014, following a coup, which he led and which ousted the caretaker government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in May 2014.

The prime minister’s supporters, however, claim that his term started either in June 2019, when he was sworn into office, or in 2017, when the junta-drafted constitution, which was approved in a plebiscite, came into force.