Demonstrators mark the fifteenth anniversary of coup d’etat that overthrew then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Lots of of protesters drove by Bangkok’s streets on Sunday to mark the fifteenth anniversary of a navy coup that eliminated former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The billionaire ex-leader – now residing in self-exile – has remained a distinguished determine within the nation’s politics because the navy deposed his authorities on September 19, 2006.
Unloading a large cardboard mannequin of a tank for his or her “vehicles in opposition to tanks” protest, rallygoers honked automobile horns to name for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military chief who got here to energy in a 2014 coup.
“Fifteen years have handed, we’re nonetheless right here to struggle,” shouted Nattawut Saikuar, a politician lengthy related to Thaksin, to a sea of supporters waving “Kick out Prayut” flags.
“Irrespective of what number of coups there are, it can’t cease us … Irrespective of how good capability their tanks are, it can’t cease the combating hearts of the individuals.”
Thailand has seen greater than a dozen coups because the finish of absolute monarchy in 1932 – usually staged within the identify of defending the highly effective royal household.
Thaksin’s juggernaut rise to energy was boosted by the so-called “Pink Shirts”, principally working-class supporters who revere him for populist contributions equivalent to instating a common healthcare system. However he was hated by Bangkok elites and the highly effective navy, and has confronted many corruption accusations.
His affect in Thailand’s patronage-reliant politics permeated the dominion even after his elimination – his sister Yingluck was the subsequent chief, earlier than she too was deposed in a 2014 coup led by then-army chief Prayuth.
The final went on to turn into prime minister within the 2019 elections performed underneath a brand new structure authored by his generals.
Nattawut stated the prime minister has had loads of time to enhance Thailand, “however the nation is in recession. The economic system, society and politics are collapsing.”
The red-clad protesters in vehicles and on bikes deliberate to maneuver to Democracy Monument, the positioning of a number of rallies by an anti-government motion that has repeatedly referred to as for Prayuth’s resignation since final July.
Scrutiny of the federal government elevated after a brand new COVID-19 wave in April snowballed Thailand’s cumulative caseload from lower than 29,000 to greater than 1.4 million infections in simply 5 months, in addition to a rising demise toll.
Earlier this month, Prayuth survived a no-confidence vote – his third since 2019.