BANGKOK (Reuters) – Anti-government protesters in Thailand defied a ban on demonstrations for a fourth day on Sunday as they stepped up demands for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and reform of the monarchy.
Below is a timeline of events since Prayuth, a former military ruler, was appointed prime minister after an election in March 2019. He rejects accusations the electoral laws were fixed in his favour.
June 9, 2019 – King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorses Prayuth as prime minister, keeping him in the post he first took in a 2014 coup.
Nov. 20 – Constitutional court disqualifies vocal opposition figure Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit as a member of parliament, saying he violated electoral law. He disputes the ruling.
Dec. 14 – Several thousand protesters demonstrate in Bangkok to protest against Thanathorn’s disqualification and the moves to ban his Future Forward party.
Feb. 21, 2020 – Constitutional court bans Future Forward. The next day, hundreds of people join a protest against the decision.
March 26 – Authorities impose a state of emergency to stop the spread of the coronavirus, limiting gatherings and travel.
July 18 – The Free Youth group draws about 2,500 to a protest in Bangkok and makes three demands: dissolve parliament, amend the constitution and stop harassing critics.
Aug. 3 – Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa makes an unprecedented call for reform of the monarchy at a protest with a Harry Potter theme.
Aug. 10 – Students at Thammasat University list 10 demands for reforming the monarchy, including abolition of lese majeste law against criticising the king.
Aug. 16 – More than 10,000 people join a protest at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.
Sept. 19 – Tens of thousands protest in the biggest demonstration since the 2014 coup, cheering calls for reforms to the monarchy as well as for the removal of Prayuth.
Sept. 20 – Protesters install a plaque near the Grand Palace in Bangkok with the message that Thailand belongs to the people and not to the monarch. It was removed the next day.
Sept. 24 – Thai parliament votes to delay considering changes to constitution.
Oct. 13 – Protesters scuffle with police and chant at the king’s passing motorcade to demand the release of 21 arrested protesters.
Oct. 14 – Tens of thousands of protesters march to Prayuth’s offices, Government House, and set up camp to demand his removal. Police fend off jeering protesters as Queen Suthida’s convoy passes close to them.
Oct. 15 – Government orders emergency measures that include ban on gatherings of five or more people, but thousands take to the streets in defiance.
Oct. 16 – Police use water cannon for the first time to try to disperse protest by thousands of people defying ban.
Oct 17. – Tens of thousands of people join multiple anti-government demonstrations across Bangkok and in other parts of Thailand.
Oct. 18 – Protesters take over two of Bangkok’s main transport hubs and protests spread across the country. Prayuth’s spokesman says he is concerned and the government seeks talks.
Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky