Demonstrators campaign to end the freeze on democracy

KHON KAEN— Three thousand people and Governor Somsak Suwansujarit of Khon Kaen came together yesterday afternoon to show their support for the electoral system of Thailand. Frustrations continue to rise in the Northeast following escalating violence in Bangkok and the stalled election results from February 2.

“We are calling for a government that comes from elections,” stated Headman Opart Kusanhia.

“We are calling for a government that comes from elections,” stated Headman Opart Kusanhia.

Activists from Khon Kaen primary schools, district offices and labor groups waved signs demanding, “Stop Freezing Democracy” as they gathered to demand a functioning electoral system. Many of the representatives from the 17 district offices claimed similar peaceful campaigns would be held throughout Thailand if reconciliation does not come soon.

The Provincial Office of Khon Kaen assisted in organizing the event after residents made multiple requests for action to support democracy.

Governor Somsak shared his support for the demonstrators as well. “This campaign is to encourage the solving of Thailand’s problems through democratic practices,” he said. “I want elections to be completed so that Thailand can create a new government.”

As the speech drew to a close, the participants organized into a parade and marched through the streets. Village headman Kaewluechai Sawati of Bueang Niam explained that he was here “to organize against the mob in Bangkok and to campaign for the importance of democracy.”  Wearing his government uniform, he explained that he and his colleagues wish to be recognized as civil servants of the Tambon Administrative Organization (TAO) fighting for peace in Thailand.

While the campaigners marched out of the courtyard of the provincial hall, Opart Kusanhia stated that he is nervous for the outcome of Thailand. He came out today to show his desire for reconciliation within Thailand through a democratically elected government with the King as the head of state.

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Governor Somsak Suwansujarit explained, “These actions are not for or against the current government, they are for democracy.”

Photographs taken by Sara Stiehl.