BANGKOK — Mounting frustration over the growing possibility that Election Day could be postponed yet again have led to resumed protests in the capital.
Several politicians have weighed in with their concerns, while about 200 protesters sent a more strident message Tuesday evening at the Ratchaprasong Intersection in downtown Bangkok. Facing dissatisfaction with their maneuvering, the government and Election Commission keep pointing fingers at each other over who’s responsible.
Former deputy PM Chaturon Chaisang on Wednesday sent a series of tweets demanding the election be held as soon as possible to solve the country’s economic problems.
“Thailand doesn’t want elections just for the sake of having elections, but for a chance to solve economic problems and several other issues. It’s the chance this country’s never had in the past five years,” one tweet read.
Political activists, students and other pro-democracy supporters took to the skywalk over the busy intersection yesterday, holding placards and chanting “No election delay!” It was the second such protest since Sunday and comes in the wake of the government’s backsliding from its commitment to hold the poll on Feb. 24 as had been promised for the past year.
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit said protesters were giving voice to years of pent up frustration.
Various officials have said a delay might be necessary due to His Majesty the King’s announcement he will be crowned in early May.
Since then, junta leaders and the Election Commission have repeatedly dodged responsibility for setting the date. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-Ngam has said the commission has the sole authority to do so. In return, commission president Ittiporn Boonprakong said yesterday that the body can’t do without a signed royal decree that was expected last week.
Although no official has said the word “delay,” a government memo ordering elections officials nationwide to halt preparations was leaked this week and later authenticated by the interior minister.
Transparency activist Srisuwan Janya today said he’ll pursue legal action against the Election Commission if it fails to stage the election by May 9 as required by law.