Thai politicians charged as dissent grows before coup anniversary

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BANGKOK:, M AY 21,
Three politicians from the party ousted by Thailand’s generals were charged on Monday with sedition for holding a press conference, as dissent grows before the fourth anniversary of the junta’s 2014 coup.
The military filed a case after senior Pheu Thai figures railed against the coup organisers at their party’s headquarters last week, blasting the generals for breaking repeated promises to restore democracy.
The party supports former premiers Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, whose elected governments were both toppled by coups but who remain popular among many rural Thais despite both being in self-exile.
The military now says it will allow elections in February but has refused to lift its ban on politics or on gatherings of more than five people.
But critics are increasingly testing the limits of the ban, which they say is intended to give the generals time to build a political coalition before the vote without any public debate.
On Monday Pheu Thai’s Watana Muangsook, Chaturon Chaisang and Chusak Sirinil were all charged with sedition for speaking at the press conference, while five other party leaders were charged with violating the ban on gatherings for attending.

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