KHON KAEN – Khon Kaen University Law students filed a complaint against Thailand’s Office of the Ombudsman on Monday in regards to the recent Constitutional Court decision to invalidate the February 2 congressional election.
The student-run human rights group, Dao Din, argued that the Office of the Ombudsman did not have the authority to forward the February 2 election case to the Constitutional Court. They also requested financial compensation for the cost of traveling to the polls on February 2 and for the retraction of their political right to vote.
“I feel that the court has lost their legitimacy,” said Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, a 23-year-old law student at Khon Kaen University and member of Dao Din. “They have made a mistake and created a dead end for Thailand.”
Before filing the complaint on Monday, Dao Din staged a skit in front of Khon Kaen’s Administrative Court mocking the Constitutional Court judges and depicting what they consider to be the court’s “silent coup.”
After the demonstration, members of Dao Din affirmed their commitment to democracy and read the group’s official position on the political crisis that has gradually unravelled Thailand’s elected government.
“We don’t want a reformed government or one that comes from the military, through the independent agencies, or through any power which overthrows the democratic system by undemocratic forces,” the group’s official statement said.
A group of academics known as the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD) also criticised the Office of Ombudsman’s actions on Monday. In an official statement, the AFDD argued that the Office of the Ombudsman can only forward complaints to the Constitutional Court that concern the constitutionality of legal provisions, which they argue the “the holding of a general election” does not fall under.