Rally against senators planned for May 23

Rally against senators planned for May 23

A screenshot of the Facebook page of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstation (UFTD) with a message that reads
A screenshot of the Facebook page of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstation (UFTD) with a message that reads "Senators must not vote against the people's resolution."

A rally has been planned for May 23 in front of Parliament in Bangkok's Kiak Kai area to apply pressure on the 250 members of the Senate not to vote against the people's resolve for the Move Forward Party to form a government with Pita Limjaroenrat as prime minister.

The planned rally was announced by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) on its Facebook page on Sunday.

The UFTD said: "An election is an important tool to reflect the people's need and intention. When the people have voiced their need to see change, things should go in that direction under the democratic principle. But, the 2017 constitution gives the 250 senators the right to vote to elect the prime minister although they are not tied in any way to the people."

"No matter how much this election has demonstrated the people's true intention, some senators have shown disagreement with the democratic principle. They stand ready to vote against the wish of the elected representatives of the people and to obstruct any change which may occur," the UFTD said in the Facebook post.

The UFTD called for people who are "genuine holders of sovereign power" to rally in front of the Parliament in Kiak Kai on May 23 from 5pm to call for the senators not to vote against the people's wish.

"The people's victory must not be ruined by the senators," it said.

In a related development, on Sunday morning a group of people claiming they wanted to protect the monarchy gathered in front of the Chao Phrom market in Muang district, Ayutthaya province. They were led by a woman named Kalayani Juprang, alias "Auntie Ayutthaya".

The group held aloft banners opposing any attempt to amend or abolish Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, and marched along Naresuan road around the market.

Some residents in the Chao Phrom market area came out to oppose the group's activity, leading to both sides hurling abuse at each another. Police, both in plain-clothes and in uniform, had to intervene to prevent them clashing.

Ms Kalayani called for people in Ayutthaya and nearby provinces to come out to protect the monarchy because the Move Forward Party had a clear intention to amend Section 112.

She said she agreed Move Forward had the legitimacy to form the core of a coalition government, but its policy that could lead to the abolition of Section 112 was unacceptable.

Ms Kalayani and her group dispersed after about 40 minutes.

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