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Thai Senate ducks call to pick unelected prime minister

Published on May 16, 2014 9:08 PM
Thai newly appointed speaker Surachai Liangboonlertchai speaks to the media during a news conference at the Parliament House in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 16, 2014. After several days of talks among some, mostly unelected members of the upper house, Surachai unveiled his hotly-anticipated "roadmap" out of the crisis but he stopped short of proposing an unelected interim premier. -- PHOTO: EPA

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thai opposition protesters suffered a setback Friday in their long-running battle to topple the government as the upper house of parliament shunned their call to pick an unelected premier.

The dismissal of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra last week in a controversial court ruling has sent tensions soaring in the kingdom, which has endured years of political turmoil.

Her "Red Shirt" supporters have warned of the threat of civil war if power is handed to an unelected leader, as demanded by the opposition.

Anti-government protesters had urged the upper house of parliament, the Senate, to invoke a vaguely worded clause in the constitution to remove the government and appoint a new premier.

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