Group pays visit to seven anti-regime contenders
Members of an anti-coup group calling itself People Who Want Elections paid a visit to seven political parties on Friday to extend moral support for their stance against the regime.
The visits coincided with the pre-election talk between the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the Election Commission (EC), and representatives of some political parties on Friday.
The seven parties were the Pheu Thai, Future Forward, Thai Raksa Chart, Saman Chon, Prachachart, Seri Ruam Thai, and the Pheu Chart. None of them had attended the meeting which was chaired by regime leader and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The anti-coup group gave white roses to the Pheu Thai members as a token of moral support. The flowers represent a clear stance against the regime adopted by these political parties, according to group leader Nuttaa Mahattana.
Ms Nuttaa yesterday reiterated the group's call for the EC, which is responsible for holding the general election, to push for the lifting of the political ban and to look into ties between the government and the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).
She said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also NCPO leader, should disband the council and give up his Section 44 powers while the military government should step down and serve as a caretaker government only in the run-up to the general election.
According to Ms Nuttaa, foreign organisations should be invited to observe the elections in a bid to ensure transparency.
At Pheu Thai, Ms Nuttaa commended the former ruling party for its unwavering stance against the regime.
She said multiple lawsuits that key party members have faced since the NCPO seized power were evidence of their fight against dictatorship.
Meanwhile, Chaturon Chaisang, a leading figure in the Thai Raksa Chart Party, said the party shunned the meeting with the NCPO and the EC because the regime has no business discussing the rules and preparations for the election as the matter should be left to the EC and political parties to discuss.
He said if the party had attended the meeting, it would be accepting the regime's intervention in the EC's affairs.
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party, yesterday thanked the pro-election activists for spearheading the campaign for the return of power to the people.
He said the upcoming election would mark the first chapter of the people's fight for justice and an end to inequality. However, he noted that structural changes could not be achieved in a single election.