Thai PM recalls Parliament as protesters raise pressure

Prayut Chan-ocha   | Photo Credit: TANG CHHIN SOTHY

Thailand’s embattled premier called on Monday for a special session of Parliament as protesters planned more rallies to demand his resignation, the release of jailed activists, and reforms to the monarchy.

Tens of thousands of mostly young protesters have taken to the streets in the past week in defiance of an emergency decree banning gatherings of more than four people.

Police said around 20,000 people protested across the capital on Sunday, although activists and local media estimated much bigger crowds.

As they prepared to rally again on Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said Parliament — currently in recess — would be recalled to discuss how to reduce tensions.

“We support opening an extraordinary session to solve this conflict,” he told reporters, warning protesters not to break the law.

“I request protesters rally peacefully. The government has already compromised to some degree,” he said.

The largely leaderless movement is calling for the resignation of Mr. Prayut — a former Army chief and mastermind of a 2014 coup — as well as the re-writing of the military-drafted Constitution they say rigged last year’s election in his favour.

They want the abolition of a draconian defamation law that shields King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism, greater transparency of royal finances, and for the monarch to stay out of politics.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 3:48:29 PM |

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