22 May 2018

Democracy Restoration Group

Democracy Monument

The Democracy Restoration Group, which held a seminar last year to mark the third anniversary of the 2014 coup, today organised a pro-democracy protest in Bangkok on the coup’s fourth anniversary. Several hundred protesters gathered this morning at Thammasat University’s football field, from where they intended to march to Government House, though they were blocked by police barricades. In the early afternoon, a group of around 100 people broke through the barriers and marched as far as Democracy Monument, though the protest leaders were arrested and the demonstration ended before 4pm.

During the past four years of military rule, there have been repeated assurances from the junta that democracy is just around the corner. On 28th June 2014, coup leader Prayut Chan-o-cha pledged to hold an election by October 2015. Then, during a visit to Tokyo on 9th February 2015, he announced that an election would instead take place by February 2016. When that deadline passed, he announced on 9th August 2016 that an election would be held by November 2017. Then, on 10th October 2017, he pushed the election timetable back to November 2018. Most recently, on 27th February this year, he said that an election will happen by February 2019.