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Thai government wants controversial election to go ahead on Feb 2

Published on Jan 28, 2014 2:08 PM
Thai policemen hold red roses given by anti-government protesters after some of the Thai police personnel changed shift at the Government House in Bangkok January 27, 2014.  A deputy prime minister said polls on Feb 2 will be held despite threats by opposition protesters to disrupt them.--PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's government wants a controversial general election to go ahead this weekend, a deputy prime minister said, despite threats by opposition protesters to disrupt the polls.

"We insist that the election on February 2 must be held because the majority of people want the election," Mr Surapong Tovichakchaikul told reporters, speaking ahead of a meeting between the prime minister and the Election Commission, which wants to delay the vote.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has faced nearly three months of mass street demonstrations demanding her elected government step down to make way for an unelected "people's council" that would oversee reforms aimed at curbing the dominance of her billionaire family.

The opposition Democrats are boycotting the February polls, saying reforms are needed to ensure the election is truly democratic and to prevent abuse of power by the next government.

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