BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai anti-government protesters demonstrated in Bangkok’s outskirts on Saturday with a duck parade and speeches demanding the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy.
Protests have been stepped up this week despite threats by Prayuth, a former junta ruler, to use all available laws against protesters who break them and charges of insulting the monarchy against several protest leaders.
Hundreds of people gathered in both Nonthaburi and Bang Na, to the northwest and southeast of Bangkok respectively.
“We have had too many years of corrupt dictatorship. We want an election in which our voices are really heard,” said one 24-year-old recent graduate, who gave only her nickname “A”.
Protesters are seeking the removal of Prayuth, accusing him of engineering an election last year to keep power that he seized from an elected government in a 2014 coup. He has said the vote was fair and he will not resign.
Protesters have also broken taboos by seeking reforms to curb the powers of the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, saying the institution has enabled decades of military domination.
The palace has made no comment since protests began. The king has said that despite the demonstrations, the protesters are loved “all the same”.
(Reporting by Matthew Tostevin and Soe Zeya Tun; Editing by James Drummond)