Group arrested for petitioning the King to remove the NCPO
Five people were taken by the military for "attitude adjustment" after they gathered and set out to petition His Majesty the King to remove the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) from power Thursday.
Crowd control police rounded the five up at the City Pillar and took them to Chana Songkhram police station, before handing them over to the military. They were then transported to the 11th Military Circle in Dusit district.
The five were identified as Suwaroj Chavananthapokin, a real estate businessman; his wife, Ornchuma Chavananthapokin; Somprasong Pao-in; Nithat Prasertnetikul; and Sueksa Sriyapai.
According to the police, the group met at the City Pillar before they planned to make their way to lodge a petition with His Majesty the King to remove the NCPO and replace the council with a royally appointed interim government to organise a general election.
The five brought with them a portrait of the King and a Thai flag, which were confiscated by the police.
The group told reporters they had submitted a petition to the King on Sept 18. However, that petition was incomplete and they intended to file a second petition Thursday.
The five said they had planned to make their way to lodge the petition along with 20 other people before they were intercepted by the police.
Their move came after former prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, 86, held a media briefing last month in which he suggested "a way out political conflict for Thailand".
He said more than 20 political parties will contest the next election under the new rules stipulated by the constitution.
Gen Chavalit said there should be no election for the time being. An interim government should be set up to solve the country's problems and the 1997 constitution should be revived with some changes, Gen Chavalit said.
He spoke alongside Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship.
However, Gen Chavalit's idea came under fire from several politicians.
Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul suggested that next year's election is a foregone conclusion and that the Gen Chavalit's idea to put the poll on hold was impractical.
Former Pheu Thai MP for Chiang Mai, Noppakhun Rathpatai also poured cold water on the idea, saying that allowing all parties to form an interim government would put the people at a disadvantage.