Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Protests in Bangkok as activists demand an election this year

  • Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:13

Hundreds of protesters take to the streets in Bangkok to demand a general election, which has already been delayed numerous times

A Thai pro-democracy demonstrator shouts slogans during a rally calling for general elections at Democracy Monument in Bangkok, Thailand Photo: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA-EFE

Around 400 protesters gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, at the weekend urging the military government not to delay elections that are planned for later this year.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha set the election date as November, but due to a change in election law last month, it is now unlikely the election will take place before 2019.

Thai police set up barriers around the Democracy Monument in the capital, but hundreds of protesters still gathered in the vicinity and held up fake ballot boxes and signs that read “disgusted with dictatorship”, Reuters reported.

It was one of the biggest protests against the military junta, known formally as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), since it seized power in 2014.

Despite a ban on all political activity, protests have become more frequent recently. Various political parties and activist groups have been demanding for months that the junta allow the process of campaigning and elections to begin. Some have suggested that the military are deliberately delaying in order to hold on to power for longer, Reuters reported.

Prior to the demonstration, the police had issued arrest warrants for four people. One was arrested before the protest, while the other three handed themselves in after the demonstration ended peacefully. All four were later released on bail, the Bangkok Post reported.

A Thai pro-democracy demonstrator holds a banner depicting military junta leader and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha Photo: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA-EFE

The Puea Thai party, who lost power in the military coup in 2014, defended the demonstrators.

“Peaceful expression is the right of every citizen … I strongly disagree with the actions of the police and those in power to try to impose … charges against the groups,” Reuters reported Phumtham Wechayachai, the secretary-general for the Puea Thai party, as writing in an open letter.

The military government, however, said that they were acting in the best interests of the people in the run up to the elections, the Bangkok Post reported.

“The authorities were very careful when dealing with the protesters. Overall, the officials managed the situation in an appropriate manner,” NCPO spokesman Piyapong Klinpan said, according to the Bangkok Post..

Last month activists won a legal battle that allowed them to continue a protest march from Bangkok to Khon Kaen, in the northeast of Thailand. The protest, dubbed ‘We March’, is due to come to an end on Saturday 17 February.

After seizing power in 2014, the military government promised to hold an election by October 2015, but the election has continued to be pushed back since then.

Related reading:

Southeast Asia Globe Magazine

Tags


Businessweek

Related Stories

France to protect wolves despite protests from farmers
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:57

The French government announced Monday it will allow the wolf population to grow 40 percent despite pressure from farmers in mountain regions who are ...

Rival rallies held across Italy ahead of election
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 07:24

Rival far-right and anti-fascist demonstrations have been held across Italy. Tensions are high ahead of next weekend's election, which may result in a...

This Week in Pictures: Warrior Thumbs, Pink Hair, and Lenin’s Mausoleum
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 06:37

This week, Jing Daily introduced a new feature in our daily newsletter, connecting news stories to trends in the China luxury market. This week, we ...

Italy election: Rival protests spark tensions ahead of vote
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 05:38

Scuffles break out as far-right and anti-fascist groups stage rallies a week before Italy's election. BBC News - Europe

This Honda Civic Owner Really Wanted A Fast And Furious Nissan
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 04:09

This 6th-gen Civic Coupe is wearing GT-R and 350Z parts. The post This Honda Civic Owner Really Wanted A Fast And Furious Nissan appeared first on ca...

Watch: This UFC competitor attempted to ‘pants’ his opponent ahead of their fight
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 03:25

An unusual tactic. Sport: : BreakingNews.ie

Chiefs trading talented, hot-headed CB Marcus Peters to the Rams. Is this the right move?
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 02:45

Marcus Peters spent three seasons in Kansas City, but is headed elsewhere. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams agreed to a trade that will off...

This Adventurer Risked His Life to Discover Good Food
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 01:15

David Fairchild brought lemons, Japanese cherry trees, and decent beer to the U.S. National Geographic News

Kim Jong Nam murder suspect ‘visited Cambodia for TV pranks’
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 01:13

F T L E W An Indonesian woman charged with murdering the North Korean leader’s half-brother visited Cambodia to take part in what she believed were ...

Euro predicted to surge this year as ECB unwinds its massive stimulus program
  • Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:39

The euro could hit $ 1.30 in the next 12 months as the ECB unwinds its stimulus, analysts told CNBC. Europe News

Cambodian PM Vows to Bash Aussies on Their Own Soil
  • Sat, 24 Feb 2018 23:16

An Australian parliamentarian says he has sought the intervention of federal police in response to threats from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to be...

Italian bonds set for worst week of year as election looms
  • Sat, 24 Feb 2018 22:41

Italian bond markets have proved resilient in the run-up to the March 4 election thanks to a stronger euro zone economy. Europe News


News Categories