The Thai pro-democracy movement vowed to usher in “a new era” in protests on Wednesday, organizing new marches in Bangkok, a day after clashes with police and defenders of the monarchy left six gunshot wounded among protesters.
“We are going to open a new era in our fighting,” the leaders of the demonstrations promised.
The authorities urged calm and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha asked the protesters to refrain from violent acts, although he preferred not to adopt an emergency decree, as happened in October, when meetings of more than four people for a week.
“There is no need. It affects stability and confidence in our country. Nobody will want to come or invest here because confidence has eroded,” Prayut told reporters.
On Tuesday, riot police used pressurized water and tear gas against protesters gathered near Parliament, where deputies and senators were discussing a possible constitutional reform.
There were also clashes between protesters and radical groups defending the monarchy.
In total, 55 people were injured, six of them by gunshots, according to medical sources. The police denied that he used live ammunition or rubber bullets and the origin of the shots remains unconfirmed.
These are the most violent incidents since the beginning of these protests, in July, demanding the resignation of the prime minister, a reform of the monarchy and changes to the Constitution.
The Thai Association of Lawyers for Human Rights regretted that the tactics used by law enforcement agencies are “not in line with international procedures to disperse a demonstration.”
On Wednesday, Parliament will vote on the constitutional amendments to be analyzed. One of them foresees that the prime minister is chosen among the members of the parliament, while the current head of the government comes from the army.
However, most of the proposals that the deputies will analyze exclude a reform of the monarchy.
The vote will last several hours and there is already a large police deployment around the parliament, where the protesters are concentrated.
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