#childsafety | Thai Parliament Rejects Monarchy Reform Through Charter Overhaul

Photographer: Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

Thailand’s parliament rejected a push by pro-democracy groups for a constitutional amendment to reduce the powers of the nation’s monarchy, potentially escalating a monthslong anti-government protests.

The lawmakers instead voted for setting up a charter rewriting committee that will skip any review of chapters governing the monarchy, the most powerful institution in Thailand. The roadmap for amendment proposed by a rights group, which the protesters support, failed to secure enough support from the lawmakers.

With the parliament turning down the demand for monarchy reform, protest groups have vowed to stage mass gatherings until all of their demands are met, which also include the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and a rewriting of the charter to make it more democratic.

The parliament decision came as thousands of anti-government activists held a rally for a second straight day in the capital, after the most violent protest in years a day earlier left more than 50 people injured. They rallied to the police headquarters in central Bangkok on Wednesday to protest against the use of water cannons and teargas on demonstrators.

READ: Why Protesters Are Back on the Streets in Thailand

“The vote shows that most members of parliament chose to uphold the power of feudal dictatorship and ignore the demands of the people,” Free Youth, one of the protest groups, said in a statement. “It can be predicted that the new constitution to be drawn up won’t reflect the will of the people because monarchy reform won’t be part of the discussion by the rewriting committee.”


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