Rival groups held demonstrations in Thailand’s capital on Saturday, with hundreds of people demanding quick elections to end military rule and a much smaller group of pro-junta supporters saying it was too soon for a vote. The competing protests were tiny compared to those that paralyzed Bangkok in 2014 before the army seized power in the name of ending instability, but were an indication of the tensions in the run-up to a long-delayed ballot. No date has been set for an election which was first promised for 2015 and most recently postponed from Feb. 24. Hundreds joined a demonstration calling for elections on March 10.
“We’re calling for elections as soon as possible,” activist Sirawith Seritiwa told the crowd.
The junta has said the most recent election delay is because of scheduling difficulties with planning for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in early May – although it has said it still wants the ballot held before those ceremonies.