Bangkok, Thailand – Thailand’s political quagmire continues to grip the country with protesters on both sides ratcheting up the rhetoric following prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s removal from power.
The Constitutional Court’s controversial ruling last week that ousted Yingluck has infuriated her supporters, known as the Red Shirts, for what they say was a politically motivated verdict.
After six months of anti-government demonstrations and the occupation of parts of the capital Bangkok, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) used the prime minister’s removal to call on its followers to take to the streets last weekend in a “Final Battle” to oust the remaining members of her caretaker government and appoint an unelected prime minister.
The Red Shirts responded by calling their own rally in support of democracy on the outskirts of Bangkok. The Red Shirts declared they will stay at their rally site until democracy is restored to Thailand, but they also warned they’ll move further into the city if a prime minister is appointed without an election.
Red Shirt leader Jutuporn Prompan has said a civil war could erupt if that happens.
PDRC leader Suthep Taugsuban continues to demand an overhaul of the political system before any election can take place.
Thais on the street, meanwhile, say only more political turmoil and strife lies ahead for the deeply divided kingdom, its people, and its future.