Groups step up protests in Bangkok demanding Prayut’s exit as PM
Groups of protesters rallied in front of Government House and Parliament on Tuesday morning to demand that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha step down.
The groups said Prayut has been holding the post of prime minister for eight years, causing economic woes and high cost of living while workers are having to live with a low wage.
The Labour Network for People’s Rights demonstrated at the Chamai Maruchet Bridge and their leaders said Prayut must resign immediately.
They said the country’s economy had become sluggish and workers were in despair as their wage was not keeping pace with the rising cost of living while the unemployment rate had increased.
“It’s time to say goodbye to this unlawful prime minister,” a protest leader said on a megaphone.
The protesters held banners that said “Prayut’s time has run out”, and “Let it be finished at eight years, Prayut get out”.
The group also demanded a daily minimum wage of 425 baht for unskilled workers nationwide, and called on the government to reduce oil prices and control the prices of consumer goods.
Crowd-control police put up metal barriers to prevent protesters from advancing towards the Government House compound. Police also put up containers on one side of the Government House and erected a barbed wire fence on the container. Traffic on Phitsanulok Road in front of Government House was closed.
Meanwhile, the Network of Ramkhamhaeng Students for Democracy, the South Move-On and a group of Ramkhamhaeng University student activists rallied in front of Parliament.
They called on Prayut to resign by Wednesday, saying he had reached the constitutional limit of eight years for holding the post of prime minister.
Pressure has been mounting on Prayut to step down by Wednesday. His opponents believe that Tuesday should be his last day in office. They noted that the current charter allows a person to hold the post of prime minister no longer than eight years and they said Prayut had become the prime minster of an interim government on August 24, 2014 following the coup in May that year.
A larger group of protesters have been holding countdown rallies in front of City Hall since Sunday to demand that Prayut leave office. The opposition has also called on the Constitutional Court to rule on whether Prayut has reached the eight-year limit stipulated by the charter. The court is scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday.