BANGKOK — Opposition politicians on Monday are marking the 87th year since the birth of Thai democracy by calling for charter amendments aimed at ridding the junta’s influence.
Invoking the revolution that overthrew the absolute monarchy in 1932, leaders of the party bloc opposed to junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha said today changes to the junta-backed constitution are necessary to free parliament from the military regime’s control.
“The 2016 constitution was drafted by the NCPO for the NCPO,” Puea Chart spokeswoman Ketpreeya Kaewsanmuang said (referring to the junta’s formal name, the National Council for Peace and Order). “It was a constitution drafted for the NCPO’s interests without listening to the true voice of the people.”
She said her party will canvass for support among its followers to push for amendments to the charter. Representatives from two Puea Chart allies – the Pheu Thai and Prachachart parties – will head a committee to coordinate the efforts, Ketpreeya said.
“A constitution created with the purpose of perpetuating the power and interests of the NCPO clique is not rightful, and it [damages] the entire country,” the spokeswoman said.
In an online post, the Future Forward Party said the 1932 revolt inspired Thais to seek not only a constitution to govern their country, but one guaranteeing rights, liberty and equality among citizens.
“Not every constitution is a ‘constitution’ by itself,” the party’s statement said. “Some documents that they are trying to describe as a ‘constitution’ may never really constitute a constitution, because they lack the principles we discussed.”
สวัสดีเวลาย่ำรุ่ง….[ 24 มิถุนายน ชวนทุกคนร่วมกันถ่ายภาพคู่กับอนุสาวรีย์รัฐธรรมนูญที่จังหวัดของท่าน ].หากเราพูดถึง…
Pheu Thai sec-gen Phumtham Wechayachai also urged Thais to continue to resist the current military regime, lest the legacies of the 1932 revolution die in vain.
“Do not let the struggle for democracy in the past become a waste,” Phumtham wrote online. “Do not let your children and grandchildren in the future endure a country built on ruins and distrust. We have to help each other today.”
The statements were among the few public commemorations of the 1932 democratic revolt today, 87 years after a group of military officers and civilians seized power in Bangkok at daybreak and declared an end to the king’s direct rule.
As the monarchy has assumed a larger role in society and politics in recent years, discussion of the 1932 revolt have become rarer. Several relics associated with the uprising have even gone missing in mysterious circumstances.
In April 2017, a historic plaque marking the spot where the revolutionaries announced the birth of democratic rule disappeared without explanation. A year later, an entire monument celebrating a victory over a royalist counter-revolution was removed in the dead of the night.