Vastavam web: Opponents of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha urged him on Monday to stop using the monarchy to justify his hold on power and resign, in remarks made to a special session of parliament called by the former junta leader to discuss months of protests. Student-led demonstrations which initially demanded the departure of Prayuth and a new constitution have increasingly turned their attention to the monarchy, calling for reforms to curb the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
“The prime minister is a major obstacle and burden to the country. Please resign and everything will end well,” said Sompong Amornvivat, leader of the opposition Pheu Thai party, the largest single party in parliament. Members of the opposition Move Forward party accused Prayuth of trying to use the monarchy to keep power – particularly regarding an incident around a royal motorcade that was used to justify tough emergency measures on Oct. 15. He rejected a demand from protesters to step down and said last week it was his government’s job to protect the monarchy.
But his opponents and protest leaders are sceptical the parliamentary session will resolve the crisis. His supporters have a majority in parliament, whose entire upper house was picked by his former junta. Opposition MPs questioned Prayuth’s reasons for emergency measures, especially the justification for a fracas around Queen Suthida’s motorcade on Oct. 14, when she was jeered by protesters.