Main Roads to Prime Minister’s Office Closed Amid Protests

Roads leading to the prime minister’s office have been closed and will remain inaccessible until at least Wednesday, as this week’s demonstrations are expected to reach Government House.

On Sunday, the Nang Loeng police station banned motorists from entering sections of Phitsanulok, Luk Luang, and Rama V roads from now until at least Wednesday. Ratchadamnoen Nok avenue was also closed.

The four routes allow access to the Government House. However, authorities decided to tighten the building’s security, as it is believed to become a destination for political protesters.

The moves came after three protest groups announced they would hold political activities in three separate locations to call on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign, arguing that his eight-year term ends on Tuesday.

General Prayt’s mandated length has sparked debates in recent weeks. The Thai constitution limits prime ministers to just eight years in office.

However, the date on which General Prayut took office is unclear. Opposition parties and protesters say his term began on August 24, 2014, when he took power after a military coup.

On the contrary, General Prayut’s supporters claim that he can still manage the country for another four years, arguing that his official term should start on the day he was elected as prime minister after winning the general elections in March 2019.

Although the prime minister has not commented on the matter, his office posted a message on Facebook saying that the Constitutional Court has the last word and General Prayut will respect the ruling.

On Sunday, political activists Jatuporn Prompan and Nititorn Lamlua staged a rally set to last until Wednesday in Lan Kho Muang, in front of City Hall. Bangkok’s Governor Chadchart Sittipunt authorized them to carry out the activities.

A second rally will be held at the Democracy Monument on Tuesday. After gathering at the site, protesters plan to move to Government House.

The third group is set to demonstrate at the Ratchaprasong intersection before marching to General Prayut’s office on Wednesday.

According to Nang Loeng Police Chief Pol Col Somyos Udomraksasup, who signed the order to close off the roads leading to Government House, large crowds were expected to attend the protest activities, potentially creating security and traffic issues.