Thousands of people rallied in central Bangkok on Thursday, demanding Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-resignation ocha’s and pledging to return every day until he leaves office.
Despite police warning earlier in the day that protests are prohibited owing to coronavirus limitations, the demonstration at the Asoke crossroads in central Bangkok was one of the largest of the year.
Since late June, protests against Prayuth have gathered traction, as groups that demanded his ouster last year have resurfaced with newfound support from citizens enraged by the growing coronavirus crisis.
Since the epidemic began last year, Thailand has recorded over 1.2 million illnesses and 12,103 deaths, with the majority of cases and deaths happening since April of this year. The protest is also taking place as Prayuth is being interrogated in parliament as part of a censure discussion that began earlier this week.
The prime minister and five other cabinet ministers are accused by the opposition of corruption, economic mismanagement, and botching the coronavirus response.
Prayuth and his ministers have denied the accusations levelled by the opposition and defended their performance in front of parliament.
Due to the government coalition’s strong parliamentary majority, they are anticipated to survive the no-confidence vote scheduled for Saturday, but demonstrators vow they will continue to put pressure on Prayuth.
“The members of parliament must choose between the people and Prayuth, who has failed, resulting in the deaths and injuries of over 10,000 people,” said Nattawut Saikua, one of the protest’s primary organizers.
“We will continue to drive Prayuth out if he passes the no-confidence vote and remains Prime Minister,” he stated.
While the protest in Asoke was peaceful, anti-government protestors blew off firecrackers and burned car tyres near the prime minister’s mansion in another section of the city on Thursday.