Prayut shows no sign of leaving his post

Prayut shows no sign of leaving his post

Protesters plan next move to oust him from office

Hungry for freedom: Protesters flash the three-finger salute outside the Bangkok Remand Prison where a rally was held to pressure Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign as prime minister and have detained protest leaders freed.
Hungry for freedom: Protesters flash the three-finger salute outside the Bangkok Remand Prison where a rally was held to pressure Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign as prime minister and have detained protest leaders freed.

As Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha showed no sign of resigning from his position last night, as demanded by anti-government protesters, they are now preparing to make additional moves against the premier.

The protesters, led by Songpol Sontirak and Jatupat Boonpatararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din, representatives of the People's Party 2020, gathered in front of the Bangkok Remand Prison on Saturday and invited interested parties to help set the direction of their protest and plan demonstrations together.

In front of the prison, the leaders reiterated their demand for the resignation of Gen Prayut by 10pm last night, a charter rewrite and monarchy reform before asking protesters to shout "release our friends" eight times.

Many protesters, including prominent leaders, were arrested by police during recent anti-establishment rallies in and around the capital.

Mr Jatupat said if Gen Prayut did not quit by Saturday night, the protesters would revise their strategy for their next "big moves".

The protesters on Wednesday rallied at the Victory Monument before marching to Government House. They submitted a resignation letter for the prime minister to sign, giving him a three-day deadline, promising they would escalate the protests if he failed to do so. They did not go into details on what steps they would next take.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said the demonstration outside the Bangkok Remand Prison was illegal.

The Thung Song Hong police station had sent a letter to the protesters to call off the rally but it failed to stop them from rallying.

Police will ask a court to order the protesters to vacate the prison's premises, the deputy chief said.

Somboon Uthaiwiankul, secretary to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, yesterday said military-level security will not be needed to safeguard parliament's extraordinary session tomorrow and Tuesday when MPs are scheduled to discuss the conflict between protesters and the government.

However, Mr Somboon said parliament will step up security and call on MPs to use public transport to reach the parliament building if possible.

The Court of Appeal on Saturday denied bail for prominent pro-democracy activists Panupong "Mike" Jadnok, Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak and Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul.

The court upheld a lower court's decision denying the temporary release of Mr Panupong, who has been charged with incitement and sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code.

The Criminal Court on Wednesday rejected bails for Mr Parit and Mr Panusaya before they were taken to Bangkok Remand Prison.

About 70 people were arrested on various charges related to the recent protests but most are now out on bail.

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