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Women’s groups concerned over sexually abusive language

In response to the sexist and mysogynist use of language by the anti-government protests in recent weeks, UN Women issued a statement on Saturday expressing “serious concern” about sexually abusive attacks for political gain.

The controversial speeches given earlier this month by at least two protest leaders, professors in medicine and political science, has stirred anger from the public and led to petitions from various groups such as Women Networks Reshaping Thailand and the LGBT Democracy Group, to call on all political groups for more sensitivity and awareness on sexism issues.

Chiang Mai activists hold potluck in support of Feb 2 election

Dozens of pro-election activists in Chiang Mai on Saturday held a collective potluck meal at Tha Pae Gate to campaign for the election to take place on February 2.

On the previous Tuesday, the same activist groups held a symbolic election, giving ice-cream to the Chiang Mai Election Commissioners to voice their support for the election.

The organisers said since there are not many campaign materials for the election compared to previous ones, the group wanted to give support to the Election Commission to organise and protect the voting as best as it could.

Academic group criticises Constitutional Court reading as “vague”, “lacking legal basis”

The pro-election academic group called “Assembly for the Defence of Democracy” (AFDD), which includes well-known historian Nidhi Eowsriwong and political scientists Kasian Tejapeera and Prajak Kongkirati, criticised the reading of the Constitutional Court, which stated that the general election can be postponed, as vague and lacking a legal basis.

The group said on Wednesday that the Royal Decree on the 2013 parliament dissolution is still effective, and stipulates that the general election would have to take place on Feb 2.

The academics also view that, according the Section 214 of the constitution, the Constitutional Court could not accept complaints filed by the Election Commission on whether an election postponement is possible.

The Section 214 stipulates that the Constitutional Court can accept complaints which involve conflicts in exercising the powers of parliament, the cabinet and government agencies other than the courts. AFDD is of the opinion that the Election Commission was not in conflict with the cabinet in the exercise of their powers, but had merely suggested to the government that the election be postponed.

AFDD academics from left to right: Prajak Kongkirati, Nidhi Eowsriwong, Srisompop Jitpiromsri and Pitch Pongsawat

Candidates from smaller parties threaten to sue government if election postponed

New Democracy Party leader Suratin Pijarn announced that it supports the election to go ahead on Feb 2, since it has already prepared its candidates and campaigns. It called on the Election Commission to organise the election as previously planned.

He said that if the government postpones the election, the New Democracy party and some other smaller parties will file both civil and criminal lawsuits against the government due to the damage that it might cause.

Students in Ayuthaya schools whistle against the Director, after being forced into a pro-election campaign

Channel 3 reported that on Monday, about 300 students from Ayutthaya Witthayalai School in central Thailand gathered to blow whistles against the School Director, after he forced students on Friday to carry out pro-election rallies to the provincial hall, 1 km away from the school.

After discussing the matter with school administrators, the students dispersed after about 20 minutes of whistle blowing. The video clip can be watched here

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