Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said his government is prepared to withdraw emergency rules banning large gatherings in the capital if the mounting protests demanding his ouster and monarchy reforms remain peaceful.
Prayuth’s pledge to review the state of emergency issued last week and open the doors for talks came as thousands of protesters marched to the prime minister’s office known as the Government House in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Simultaneous rallies by pro-royalist groups in support of King Maha Vajiralongkorn also raised fears of clashes between the rival groups.
“I will make the first move to de-escalate this situation,” Prayuth said in a prepared speech.
“I am currently preparing to lift the state of severe emergency in Bangkok and will do so promptly if there are no violent incidents.”
Prayuth urged the protesters to use a special session of the parliament next week to air their grievances through lawmakers and said the government and the activists should “each take a step back” and “find solutions to the
“The only way to a lasting solution for all sides that is fair for those on the streets as well as for the many millions who choose not to go on the streets, is to discuss and resolve these differences through the parliamentary process,” the prime minister said.