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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thai Parliament To Hold Special Session

Prime Minister asks protesters to step back and let the system work

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Chatwan Mongkol
Chatwan Mongkol
A freelance journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand covering Thai politics

THAILAND. Bangkok: The Royal Gazette of Thailand announced on 21 October that there will be a special parliamentary meeting starting on 26 October for the benefit of the country as the House Speaker requested and the cabinet has approved it.

This is a way to accomplish one of the protesters’ demands of enacting the people’s amendments to the constitutions. It came after a full week of anti-government protests following the imposition of the state of “severe” emergency in the Bangkok area, which gave the government a lot of legal powers, and crackdowns.

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The three demands of protesters are the Prime Minister’s resignation, enactment of people’s constitutions, and the monarchy reform.

PM to lift the Emergency Decree

On the evening of 21 October, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked for the de-escalation of both sides. His speech was televised through the national television broadcast.

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“I will make the first move to de-escalate this situation,” the Prime Minister said. “I am currently preparing to lift the state of severe emergency in Bangkok and will do so promptly if there are no violent incidents.”

As he spoke, protesters were marching from the Victory Monument to the Government House to demand his resignation. They faced several police obstructions but were able to deliver their demands to representatives of the government. They said Chan-o-cha must resign within the next three days or they will escalate their movements.

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The only fair way for everyone is to discuss the matters through the parliamentary process, the Prime Minister said.

“It is a slow process, but it is one that best avoids injury to our nation,” he said. “We must show the maturity and patience to take the middle path.”

While he acknowledges the demands, he said both sides must step back before they cause chaos and more violence.

As for the crackdown on 16 October, the Prime Minister acknowledged peaceful protesters with good intentions for the country. However, he said there were “terrible crimes being committed against the police using metal rods and huge cutting implements in brutal attacks, with the aim of severely wounding fellow Thais.”

He does not think that the behaviors and the police’s use of water cannons would lead to the solutions.

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