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Thailand: Protesters demand national elections

Thailand: Protesters demand national elections
From Al Jazeera - February 10, 2018

Around 400 people have gathered at a monument to democracy in the Thai capital to urge the military government not to delay a national election planned later this year.

Elections to restore democracy have been postponed several times with November being the latest date set by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was appointed by a military-backed legislature following a coup in 2014.

But a change in the election law by parliament last month means the date almost definitely will be pushed back to early 2019, something that has fanned growing discontent among groups who are calling for a swift return to civilian rule.

Authorities deployed fences around the Democracy Monument, forcing activists to gather only in the vicinity. Protesters held mock ballot boxes and signs saying: "Disgusted with dictatorship."

"The NCPO should hold elections in November 2018, not move it to February 2019," a representative for the demonstration who goes by his Facebook name of Sasiphat Siri told the crowd.

The military government is formally known as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

"Mr Prayuth, can you hear the people's voices?" shouted another protester.

On Friday, police issued arrest warrants for four activists. One was arrested on Saturday morning, while the other three showed up at the protest on Saturday.

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