Hundreds of people defied heavy rain on Sunday to join a protest in Bangkok, demanding that the Senate stop blocking the appointment of a prime minister from the winning coalition in the May general election. The protesters feared that the political deadlock could lead to instability and violence.
The protesters, who gathered at the busy Asok intersection, accused the senators of being loyal to the military and the monarchy, and of ignoring the will of the people. The Senate, which was appointed by the junta that staged a coup in 2014, has the power to vote for the prime minister along with the lower house of parliament.
The Move Forward Party, which emerged as the surprise winner of the election, has nominated its leader Pita Limjaroenrat as its candidate for prime minister. However, Pita has failed to secure enough votes from the senators, who are wary of his party’s reformist agenda.
The protesters urged the senators to vote for Pita and respect the election outcome. They also warned other parties in the coalition not to betray their alliance and join forces with Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the former army chief and junta leader, who was re-elected as prime minister in 2019 but lost his majority in the May election.