Thai student protesters reject parliamentary debate
By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela
Bangkok, Oct 27 (efe-epa).- The student-led pro-democracy movement in Thailand on Tuesday dismissed an extraordinary two-day parliamentary session that was convened following several days of massive protests in Bangkok calling for a new constitution and reforms to reduce the powerful influence of the military and the monarchy in Thai politics.
The protesters dismissed the outcome of the parliamentary debate because they were not included in the discussions and because the issues they have raised would not be resolved.
The debate, convened by the embattled prime minister, former general Prayut Chan-ocha, was held as a consultation to allow members of parliament to view their opinions, and did not yield any form of political resolution.
“I think the debate that took place in Parliament was for the ruling parties to condemn the student protests, rather than to solve problems,” one of the student leaders of the protesters, Patsaravalee “Mind” Tanakivibulpon, told Efe.
The 500 deputies of the lower house elected at the polls last year and the 250 senators who were handpicked by the former military junta led by Prayut (2014-2019) took part in the session.
CALLS FOR PRAYUT’S RESIGNATION
“The prime minister should resign first, since he has no legitimacy to govern this country, after having mismanaged the protests, especially by using violence to disperse them,” Patsaravalee, a 25-year-old engineering student, said by phone.
On October 16, riot police and a water cannon were deployed to clear thousands of protesters – including many schoolchildren – who were protesting peacefully.
The university student, one of the few leaders who have not been arrested by the authorities, also called it “unfair” that the students were not heard in Parliament.