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Thailand parliament approves constitutional changes amid widespread protests
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Thailand parliament approves constitutional changes amid widespread protests

Thai lawmakers voted to amend their constitution on Wednesday, but ultimately rejected the reform many protesters were hoping for. Although the protesters called for monarchical reform, only 212 of 732 parliament members voted in favor of the relevant motion.

Although citizens have been protesting since July, the members of parliament delayed their vote until the country saw its worst night of violence on Tuesday. During Tuesday’s protest in Bangkok, 55 people were injured, and two people were shot with live ammunition. The police reportedly employed tear gas and chemical-laced water cannons against the protesters. To combat the water cannons, protesters have used inflatable rubber ducks as shields, which have become a symbol of their pro-democracy movement.

The proposed constitutional changes stem from popular issues with the military-backed government that entered into force after a coup in 2014. Approval of this charter was essentially compulsory, and its rules have kept the current prime minister in power despite a recent election. While the protesters now seek to curb the King’s monarchical power, members of parliament refuse to address this. Instead, their approved constitutional reforms address the creation of new committees.

The next protest is expected to take place on November 25 at the Crown Property Bureau.