You are here

Thai protesters spurn reconciliation panel plan to ease tensions

AK_tpro_0411.jpg
Thai pro-democracy activists rejected a parliament-initiated plan to form a reconciliation committee, calling it a "political ploy to buy time," and reiterated the demand for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

[BANGKOK] Thai pro-democracy activists rejected a parliament-initiated plan to form a reconciliation committee, calling it a "political ploy to buy time," and reiterated the demand for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha.

The Thai parliament is setting up a committee to discuss the demands of the protesters in a bid to ease political tensions and restart the stalled process for charter amendment later this month. However, the protest groups said in a statement on Wednesday that those steps would be meaningless if MR Prayuth clung to power.

"Such committees won't be able to come up with any solutions because in reality Prayuth is the biggest obstacle," according to the statement read out at a briefing in Bangkok. "All of the problems can't be resolved if Prayuth doesn't quit."

The protesters have spurned Mr Prayuth's request to use parliamentary process to resolve their demands, which also include a rewriting of the constitution and more accountability and transparency from the monarchy. The youth-led protest groups have held almost daily demonstrations in Bangkok and other cities for three weeks, triggering counter rallies by pro-royalist groups opposed to any reform of the monarchy.

Mr Prayuth, a former army chief who took power in a 2014 coup, kept his premiership after elections in 2019 with the help of charter rules written under his military government and the junta-appointed Senate. Pro-democracy groups said parliament should vote on a new prime minister whose role should be limited to charter amendment, adding that the Senate must be kept out of the process.

Your feedback is important to us

Tell us what you think. Email us at btuserfeedback@sph.com.sg

Mr Prayuth, who has repeatedly rejected calls to quit, signed a draft law on Wednesday for the parliament to deliberate a referendum for charter amendment. The premier has said that he's open to changing parts of the constitution and taking away Senate power to elect prime ministers.

BLOOMBERG

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to t.me/BizTimes