Ratsadon calls for early polls
The pro-democracy Ratsadon group yesterday called for the House of Representatives to quickly be dissolved, with clear election rules established to allow voters to elect a new government.
The group said a general election should be held as soon as possible and vowed to begin pressuring political parties to force the government to dissolve the Lower House.
A general election is scheduled for no later than May 7, assuming the House completes its four-year term on March 23.
Although nationwide polls are due in seven months, the group said it wants a much quicker return to the ballot box.
"We will not sit idle and wait for that time to come," activist Patsaravalee "Mind" Tanakitvibulpon said, reading out the group's statement. "Ratsadon demands the House be dissolved to return power to the people immediately."
The demand was announced at Thammasat University's Tha Phrachan campus, as people gathered there to mark the 46th anniversary of the Oct 6, 1976 massacre of left-wing activists.
The group said it would hold activities targeting political parties to exert pressure on the government to call a snap election.
It also demanded the Constitutional Court rule on two controversial organic bills, one on the election of MPs and another on political parties, to kickstart the election.
The Election Commission was urged to set clear pre-election rules, and the cabinet asked to inform all state agencies to prepare for a poll.
The group also urged voters to support parties in the "democracy camp" to keep the Senate from having a vote in choosing a new prime minister.
A prime minister needs at least 376 votes at a joint sitting of the House and Senate under the constitution. However, if a party wins 376 seats, it does not need input from other parties or senators in choosing a premier.