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Thai protesters march again in prelude to shut down Bangkok next week

Published on Jan 5, 2014 1:41 PM
 
A Thai police officer (second, right) holds a flower during a peaceful protest at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok on Dec 30, 2013. Thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the Thai capital on Sunday, a prelude to a broader action next week when they say they will shut down Bangkok in their bid to scuttle a February election and topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the Thai capital on Sunday, a prelude to a broader action next week when they say they will shut down Bangkok in their bid to scuttle a February election and topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The protesters, who accuse Yingluck of being the puppet of her self-exiled brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, have vowed to stop the Feb 2 election. Instead, they want an appointed "people's council" to oversee reforms before any future vote.

The crisis has dragged on for weeks and has hit the Thai economy. It pits Yingluck and her brother and their support base among the rural poor in the populous north and northeast against protesters who draw support from Bangkok's conservative, royalist elite and middle classes and the south.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a fiery former deputy premier from the main opposition Democrat Party, said two more marches would be held on Tuesday and Thursday leading up the Jan. 13 "shutdown".

 
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