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Thai anti-government protesters set for final showdown

Suthep to surrender on May 27 if latest mass rallies fail to oust govt

Published on May 18, 2014 6:55 AM
Thai anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban greeting his supporters at a meeting yesterday. -- PHOTO: AFP

Bangkok - Anti-government protesters in Thailand are to stage mass rallies in the coming days to try to get a new prime minister installed, but their leader Suthep Thaugsuban said if this final push in a six-month fight did not succeed, he would surrender to the authorities on May 27.

"It's time. This show has been going on for so long," he told a meeting of supporters from around the country yesterday. "It must come to an end. Whether it will be a happy ending depends on the great mass of people in this country and our state officials."

Thailand has been in turmoil since the protests flared up in November, the latest phase in nearly a decade of antagonism between the Bangkok-based establishment and supporters of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the army in 2006.

Thaksin's sister, Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, was forced to step down as prime minister on May 7 when the country's Constitutional Court found her and nine ministers guilty of abuse of power.

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