Protesters plan action after PM ignores deadline to quit

Protesters plan action after PM ignores deadline to quit

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives at Wat Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram to lead Buddhist prayers to save the country on Saturday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakkul)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives at Wat Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram to lead Buddhist prayers to save the country on Saturday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakkul)

Anti-government protesters said on Saturday they would hold demonstrations on Sunday and Monday after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ignored their 10pm deadline to resign.

Asked by journalists whether he would stand down, Gen Prayut simply said "won't quit" after Buddhist prayers at Wat Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram that were held to call for national healing following months of protests that have also demanded reforms of the monarchy.

After the deadline expired, the Dao Din group announced on its Facebook account that a rally will be held at Ratchaprasong intersection at 4pm on Sunday. The protesters will gather at Samyan intersection at 5pm on Monday and walk to the German embassy, it added.

"Prayut is the problem. The first obstacle that we need to remove," said Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, one of the leaders of the demonstration planned for Sunday. He was among dozens of protesters arrested this month and was freed on bail on Friday.

Since July, protesters have been demanding the departure of Gen Prayut and a new constitution. More recently they have also stepped up demands for reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy.

Gen Prayut, who first took power in a 2014 coup, rejects the accusations of his critics that he engineered last year's election to keep power.

After the prayers he said: "I urge everyone to conciliate and help solve problems together."

He has called for an emergency session of parliament on Monday and Tuesday to try to resolve the crisis, but his opponents have little faith in the outcome given his supporters have a parliamentary majority.

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