Multiple protests demand 'immediate' election
published : 14 Jan 2019 at 00:12
writer: Gary Boyle
ORIGINAL SOURCE/WRITER: Kyodo News
Protests were held in Bangkok and several up-country provinces on Sunday to demand an end to delays in the general election, which was last promised for Feb 24 but now is in limbo.
In the capital, about 150 people gathered in the evening at Ratchaprasong intersection to call on the military regime to hold the election before the coronation of His Majesty the King in May.
Hardliners in the government have recently said that election-related activities may clash with the ceremony running smoothly, leading to concerns that the election, already unlikely for Feb 24, could be delayed even beyond March.
"They have been postponing the election over and over since 2014," complained a 51-year-old female protester. "The election must be held before the coronation."
Police did not block the demonstration, but did not allow the protesters to use a public address system.
In Chiang Mai, about 20 people protested at City Hall under the watchful eyes of police, who also did not interfere.
A 62-year-old retired teacher who said his name was Boonrod, said income disparities have widened under the current government. "Only rich people get benefits from the current government's policies," he said.
Protests were also held in other provinces including Chiang Rai, Nakhon Pathom, Khon Kaen, and Ubon Ratchathani.
The government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has delayed the vote six times since it first promised elections in 2015.
Learn from listening
- coronation: the crowning of a king or queen - วันฉัตรมงคล
- demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม
- disparity (adj): a difference between things, especially reflecting something negative or unfair - ความไม่เหมือนกัน, ความต่าง,ความไม่เสมอกัน
- hardliners (noun): people who have extreme ideas and who are not likely to change them - ผู้ที่ยึดมั่นในหลักการ
- interfere: to deliberately become involved in a situation and try to influence the way that it develops, although you have no right to do this - แทรกแซง
- postpone: to delay; to decide that something will be done at a later time - เลื่อนออกไป
- promise (verb): to say that you will do something for sure; to commit that you'll do something for certain - สัญญา
- regime: a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way - รัฐบาลที่ขึ้นมาปกครองโดยการยึดอำนาจ
- watchful (adj): paying attention to what is happening in case of danger, accidents, etc. - ซึ่งเฝ้าดูอย่างใกล้ชิด, ซึ่งเฝ้ามองอย่างะมัดระวัง