Thai protesters target would-be coup makers as rumours swirl

BANGKOK: Thousands of Thai anti-government protesters called for an end to coups in the Southeast Asian country on Friday as months of street protests fuel rumours of another military takeover.

The protesters demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader who seized power in the last coup in 2014, but say they do not want him replaced by another general.

Organisers called Friday’s protest “Rehearsal to Oppose a Coup”.

Prayuth’s putsch was the 13th successful coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

“The 14th coup will not happen because the people will come out and resist,” one of the protest leaders, Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok, told the crowd.

Some protesters burned pictures of Prayuth.

He stayed on as prime minister after an election last year and protesters say the ballot was organised to keep him in power with a constitution drawn up by his former government that gave parliament’s entire upper house to junta appointees.

Prayuth says the vote was fair. “I’m only 18 but have seen two coups already. That’s not right,” said Tan, a high school student at the protest who gave only one name. “We don’t want history to repeat itself.” - Reuters riqtv.pk0�"0  *�H��