Thailand’s parliament has begun a special session called to address tensions as pro-democracy protests draw students and other demonstrators into the streets almost daily, demanding the prime minister’s resignation and reforms to the ultra-powerful monarchy.
A former military chief who staged the 2014 coup, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has faced increasing pressure in recent weeks by the protesters, who regard his premiership as illegitimate.
Prayuth last week recalled parliament – which was in recess – to discuss how to reduce tensions.
As Speaker of the House Chuan Leekpai began the session on Monday, only 450 of the total of 731 members of both houses had signed in for the meeting.
The protesters want Prayuth’s resignation, a rewrite of the military-scripted constitution, and for the government to “stop harassing” political opponents. While Prayut acknowledged…