Bangkok: Protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha continue
Protesters are calling for an end to repression. The military is also targeted, accused of interfering in political affairs and of supporting the former coup. Six ministers resigned. The pandemic pushes the country into recession.
Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Protests continue in Thailand against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha's government. About 200 people demonstrated yesterday outside the headquarters of the Armed Forces, calling for the premier’s resignation.
On July 18, at least 2,500 people demonstrated in the capital one of the largest public demonstrations since the 2014 military coup, when Prayuth (at the time commander-in-chief of the army) came to power. Other small demonstrations were held the following day in Chiang Mai and Ubon Ratchathani. Public gatherings in Thailand are banned to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, but police have made no arrests.
Protesters want the dissolution of Parliament, the resignation of the executive and an end to the persecution of the opposition. They also accuse the military of squandering taxpayers' money and interfering in the country's political affairs by supporting Prayuth.
The former general has led a civilian government since last year, but his critics consider the elections that decreed the formal end of the military junta rigged. Moreover recently, due to the effects of the pandemic crisis, the pressure on the premier has grown significantly. On July 16, six ministers resigned.
The coronavirus has dealt a severe blow to the local economy. According to the central bank, the national GDP will have an 8% drop this year. The United Nations estimates that the Thai economy will lose 41 billion euros, especially in the tourism sector, the flagship of the country.