News You Should Know- Oct. 22, 2020

While there has been plenty of News You Should Know within our borders, there’s plenty more happening in the world around us.

Anti-government protests in Thailand, according to the BBC, started on Aug. 3 and are growing currently. The primary targets of these protests are Thailand’s monarchs and their prime minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha. Chan-o-Cha, a former general, overthrew Thailand’s previous government in a coup in 2014.

According to CNN, the protests aim to “make the King answerable to the Constitution” and institute reform within the Thai government. This is particularly controversial within Thailand, as any statements critical of the monarchy are punishable with prison time.

BBC News reported that protests have attracted “tens of thousands” and that these protests, which are mostly student-led, are growing.

The government is now cracking down on local media coverage of the protests, with CNN reporting that the Thai government warned media outlets not to “undermine national security,” and that these outlets could face a suspension of their operations.

Thai protesters specifically modeled some of their protests after pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and the protests also modeled recent pro-democracy protests in Belarus and Sudan.

Similar protests also occurred over the past few weeks in Kyrgyzstan, although the conflict there seems to mostly be resolved.

According to the New York Times, Kyrgyz prime minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov resigned last week, stating that he did not want to be remembered as a leader “who shed blood and shot at his own citizens.”

Kyrgyz elections were held earlier this month, and were marred by allegations of vote-buying. The conflict reached a head when Kyrgyz protesters stormed government buildings in Bishkek, the country’s capital, demanding the resignation of Jeenbekov and other high-ranking officials.

Kyrgyzstan’s new acting president is Sadyr Japarov, a man convicted of kidnapping a governor in 2017 who was freed from jail this past June.

According to Reuters, Japarov intends to seek a constitutional change to allow him to run for a full term in charge of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz law prevents temporary Presidents from running in the elections that they oversee.

Finally, Bolivia held their elections this past Sunday, and Luis Arce of the left-wing Movement for Socialism (MAS) party was elected president.

The result came as a surprise to many, with most expecting the election to head to a runoff between Arce and Carlos Mesa, former president and head of the left-wing Revolutionary Left Front (FRI) party, according to NPR.

The MAS party was formerly led by Evo Morales, a controversial former Bolivian head of state who was overthrown last year.

Morales, now in Argentina, responded to the news by saying, “we recovered our democracy.”

Current acting Bolivian head of state Jeanine Áñez congratulated Arce and asked him to govern “with democracy in mind.”

This piece was published in the Oct. 22, 2020 edition of the Good Five Cent Cigar, and was the final edition of News You Should Know.

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