A RALLY in front of Parliament this evening (May 23) by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration in support of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat becoming the prime minister turned chaotic when a lone woman showed up brandishing a placard objecting to amending the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, Matichon newspaper.
An argument broke out between this woman and the pro-Pita demonstrators with some of them then throwing flyers into the air carrying the message, “Senators don’t silence the people’s voice by continuing dictatorship.”
To calm demonstrators, one woman shouted, “If you love Pita don’t do this otherwise he won’t be able to form a government.”
Another woman then yelled out, “we are all orange (Move Forward Party colour is orange).”
However the lone pro-monarchy demonstrator taunted them by saying, “this is called pressuring senators, out here there is no orange, no red, if you want to be orange then leave.”
The demonstrators had got permission to stage this rally under the title “senators must not ignore public opinion” in calling on them to respect the people’s voice and vote for the prime minister according to the consensus, Naewna newspaper said.
Ms. Pasarawalee Thanakit-wibulphol, or Mind, a member of the Vote for Change campaign, said senators have never shown that they have done anything for the people and this is their opportunity to show that the country has returned to democracy.
Asked by reporters about Move Forward not having mentioned amendment of Section 112 in the MoU signed by eight coalition partners setting up the new government yesterday, Pasarawelee said in her opinion over the next four years if Move Forward does succeed in forming the government this amendment will be tabled.
However if the government does not push it then the people will do so continuously, she added.
From 6 p.m. onward an exchange of opinions by some academics got underway among them were Thammasat University’s Sociology & Anthropology lecturer Anusorn Unno, Professor Uchen Chiangsaen from Walailak University and Mr. Yingcheep Atchanon, manager of i-Law, or Internet for People Law.
Anusorn said at one point that the senate is a political anomaly and a threat to parliamentary democracy because the senators were not elected but appointed, which is different from other countries.
He questioned whether Thai people should be proud of senators having a five-year term and the power to vote for the prime minister under a provision of the 2017 constitution as it violates the principle of ultimate power belonging to the people.
Top: Pro-Pita demonstrators and a sole pro-monarchy demonstrator arguing this evening, May 23, 2023. Photo: Matichon
Below and Front Page: Scenes from the rally at the Parliament this evening. Photos: Naewna