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Thai protest groups vow to rally again on Saturday to demand the removal of PM

Two anti-government protest groups have vowed to resume their rally at Government House in Bangkok tomorrow (Saturday), after they ended their protest on Thursday night.

Mr. Nititorn Lumlua, a core leader of the Prachachon Khon Thai political activist group, told his followers at about 8pm last night (Thursday) that the group will return at 3pm on Saturday and, this time, will submit a letter to demand the dissolution of Palang Pracharat, the core government party. Then he ordered an end of the protest and told his followers to disperse.

The Thai Mai Thon group ended their protest at about 7.30pm after group leader, Jatuporn Prompan, told the protesters that he was concerned for their safety, claiming that some elements might try to stir up unrest.

The former leader of the pro-Thaksin United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) said that, although the crowd on Thursday was quite sizeable, it was not big enough to force the departure of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Jatuporn said that he had called Mr. Nititorn to discuss their next move and agreed to renew their protests on Saturday, adding that, although he and Mr. Nititorn were on opposite sides of the political divide in the past, they now share the common goal ofousting the prime minister and his government.

Before dispersing, he urged his followers and the general public to join the protest on Saturday, at the Phan Fah bridge, “to give Prime Minister Prayut a final push” for the sake of Thailand.

It remains unclear whether the anti-establishment Ratsadon group will join Saturday’s protest. Speaking at Pathumwan skywalk on Thursday night, one of the group’s core leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, told followers, however, that the Ratsadon group has set a target to oust the government in the next three months.

“This year will be the year of change for the people. The change is not an impossible dream and this is the right moment, after seven years,” said the young leader, who staged a month-long hunger strike during his detention in Bangkok Remand Prison.

Supporters of the Ratsadon group converged at the Democracy Monument on Thursday morning to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the change to a constitutional democracy, from absolute monarchy, on June 24th, 1932.

The Ratsadon group demands the removal of Prime Minister Prayut, the writing of a people’s constitution and reform of the monarchy. Later, they moved to parliament, to hand an open letter demanding the crafting of a new constitution to a group of government and opposition MPs.

The group ended their rally at Pathumwan skywalk at about 8.30pm, with a core leader, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul,addressing a crowd, urging them not to lose hope and to fight on with their brains and bodies until their goals are reached.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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