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Thai opposition launches new massive protest action

May 19, 2014, 10:50 UTC+3
The oppositionists demand that the government resigns immediately
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© EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

BANGKOK, May 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Oppositionists in Thailand are starting a new large-scale action on Monday, the aim of which is to dismiss the current government. The action is expected to last for a week and comprise street rallies and strikes.

Protesters’ leader Suthep Thaugsuban said that special mobile brigades were set up, and from Monday on they would be ‘persecuting’ the acting Prime Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan and the other ministers as well. The opposition demands that the government resigns immediately. In this case, the Thai Senate, the protesters believe, would be able to use its constitutional right to appoint a ‘neutral’ prime minister, who would carry out massive political reforms in the country, as the opposition demands.

Thai media report with reference to sources in the upper house of the country’s parliament that “senators have completed for 80% the preparations for the appointment of a ‘neutral prime minister’”. A meeting between Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan and lawmakers, who will discuss possible ways out of the political crisis, is scheduled for Monday.

However, the acting prime minister has warned his counterparts that he wouldn’t make any steps contradicting the Constitution of Thailand. The acting government insists that the only way to change the authorities is through national elections. The opposition that has not won the elections for almost 20 years refuses to vote.

From May 22, employees of state enterprises are set to start a strike to increase pressure on the Cabinet. Thaugsuban has concluded a relevant agreement with labor unions’ leaders on Sunday. The head of the opposition, accused by the authorities of treason, pledges to stop street rallies by May 27, if up to 1 million people don’t take to the streets of Bangkok. He added that he was ready to surrender to the police in case his protest actions fail. “We cannot afford to go on with protests any longer, otherwise the country will suffer serious losses,” he stated.

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