Pro-democracy protesters have issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, giving him three days to resign or face renewed unrest during the weekend of October 24-25. The protest organizers have vowed to suspend their activities during this time to give the government an opportunity to respond. There has yet to be an official statement from the Prime Minister's office, although he has previously said that he will not step down.
Previously, on Thursday, October 22, the state of emergency in Bangkok was revoked following weeks of anti-government protests. The move comes as the prime minister attempts to de-escalate the situation, stating on Wednesday that he would lift the state of emergency in exchange for the protests remaining peaceful.
Continued anti-government protests are likely over the near term. Previous demonstrations have involved clashes between protesters and police. Authorities have also previously ordered the closing of parts of the mass transit system prior to protests. A heightened security presence should be expected in the vicinity of protests and associated disruptions are likely.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's over government spending, the dissolution of an opposition party, and many other factors. Activists have also called for reforms to the powers of the monarchy. Protests on an increasing scale have been held in Bangkok and other locations across Thailand in recent weeks. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.
Thailand's cabinet approved a 30-day state of emergency in Bangkok on Friday, October 16, following the emergency decree announced on Thursday, October 15, due to large-scale demonstrations denouncing the government, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, and calling for reforms to the monarchy. Emergency measures ban gatherings of more than five people within the city and prohibit the publication of news or dissemination of online messages which could "create fear". The Prime Minister has warned that a nightly curfew may be introduced if unrest continues. On Friday, October 16, police used water cannon to disperse thousands of protesters who had gathered in the Pathumwan area in defiance of the decree. Prior to protests within the city on Saturday, October 17, the entire BTS Skytrain system and the MRT Blue and Purple Lines of Bangkok's mass transit system were closed. Police have stated that they are currently investigating four domestic media outlets for their coverage of the protests.
Those in Bangkok are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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