Thousands of government opponents and supporters measure their forces in Bangkok



At least 13,000 opponents on Sunday called for the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in a protest race in Bangkok, where thousands of people also expressed their support for the president promilitar in an alternative march.

This is the largest demonstrations held in Bangkok since the coup led by Prayut in 2014, who after five years of military junta was appointed head of the government last June after elections criticized for his lack of transparency.

"Prayut out!" Was the cry of the anti-government protesters to ask for the resignation of the coup general in the event in a park in the capital in which the young and charismatic opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit also participated.

"I think the first step to democratize Thailand would be that General Prayut has to resign," Thanathorn, the most critical voice against Prayut and his government, told the media.

The opposition leader, who was dismissed as a deputy last November in one of several legal proceedings undertaken against him by the promising authorities, arrived at the park dressed in sportswear and surrounded by a large group of supporters.

Thanathorn, a wealthy 41-year-old businessman, also expressed the need to approve a new constitution to be able to democratize Thailand, where currently the non-elected Senate at the polls participates together with parliamentarians in the appointment of the prime minister.

"Race against dictatorship" is the name of the anti-government event organized by a group of university students through social networks.

In another park in the capital, at least 5,000 followers of Prayut wore T-shirts and banners with the Thai flag in a march with a smaller number of attendees, of average age greater than the anti-government corridors, and a more nationalist environment.

"Go ahead, Uncle Tu!" Shouted the protesters, who used the prime minister's nickname.

Both events took place without incident in Bangkok, where dozens of people have died in violent demonstrations held in 2010 and 2013-2014.

Since the coup d'etat of 2006, Thailand has suffered a deep political and social division between ultramonarchist sectors of society close to the Army and the pro-democratic movements.

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