Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha looks on during an open special session at the parliament house in Bangkok. AP
Thailand’s biggest opposition party called on Monday for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to resign, as parliament opened a special session 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.
Prayuth called the parliament session this week after the imposition of Oct.15 emergency measures to end the demonstrations - including a ban on protests - only inflamed anger and brought tens of thousands onto Bangkok streets.
“I’m confident that today, regardless of our different political views, everyone still loves the country,” Prayuth said in his opening address.
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.
Prayuth seized power in 2014, overthrowing elected Pheu Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of populist former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, whose struggles with the establishment unleashed more than a decade of turbulence.
Protesters accuse Prayuth of engineering last year’s election to keep the army’s grip on power. He says the election was fair.
Breaking a long-standing taboo, protesters have also called for the king’s powers to be reduced, saying the monarchy has helped enable decades of military domination. The Palace has made no comment since the start of the protests.
Protesters are due to march to the German embassy at 5pm (1000 GMT) and have said they will petition Berlin to investigate the king’s use of his powers while in the European nation, where he spends much of his time.
They have not said exactly they believe the king has done. The German government has said it would be unacceptable to conduct politics from there.
The detentions came around a protest to demand that opposition members be allowed to run in a local election.
Zimbabwe’s main opposition MDC has gone to court to lift a police ban on its demonstrations, an official said on Friday, as armed police and soldiers set up checkpoints on major roads and blocked access
The 22 demonstrators deny charges of committing sedition and a litany of other offences, which includes lese majeste, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison for each count.
The proposed amendment by 44 lawmakers from the opposition Move Forward Party comes a day after four leaders of youth-led demonstrations were jailed pending trial under the royal insult law, known as lese majeste, which carries penalties of up to 15 years in prison.
The leaders discussed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in various fields to serve development in the two friendly countries and expand the base of their common interests.
The case dated back to last July when an Asian girl filed a complaint in which she stated that her friend living with her in the same apartment attempted to kill herself.
Sheikh Sultan published photos of his meeting with the administrative body of Khorfakkan University, and he also met with a delegation from the University of Exeter.