Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Brazil's presidential election seen from the web

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ivory Coast launches the "Soap Bucket Challenge"

Read more

#TECH 24

Anonymous Vs ISIS

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria attack: Bomb blast in college in Kano

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: Lockdown brings Sierra Leone capital to a halt

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy's political comeback: did he ever leave?

Read more

DEBATE

The World This Week

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Travel chaos: Air France pilots take industrial action

Read more

Asia-pacific

Tens of thousands of Thaksin supporters demand fresh elections

Video by Jade BARKER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-14

Ten of thousands of red-clad supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra flooded into Bangkok on Sunday for a key rally aimed at forcing Abhisit Vejjajiva's government to call new elections, or face more protests.

REUTERS - More than 100,000 protesters converged in Bangkok on Sunday and gave Thailand’s military-backed government an ultimatum to call elections within 24 hours or face crippling demonstrations across the capital.

 
Singing pro-democracy songs, dancing, hooting horns and waving placards, red-shirted supporters of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra flooded streets in Bangkok’s historic heart and threatened to stay for a week.
 
Most travelled from Thailand’s poor, rural provinces, piling into pick-up trucks, cars and even river boats, and illustrating Thaksin’s enduring influence on Thai politics even after his ouster in a 2006 coup, graft conviction and self-exile.
 
Protest leaders hope a powerful display of popular support will force Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to dissolve parliament and call an election that Thaksin’s allies would be well-placed to win. They also want to convince wavering partners in the governing coalition to break away.
 
“Brothers and sisters, don’t give up. Don’t fight for me.  Fight for the country,” Thaksin told supporters via video link from an undisclosed location in Europe.
 
“I am a symbol of those bullied by the elite who do not care about democray and justice.”
 
The turbulence adds to a seemingly intractable political crisis that pits the military, urban elite and royalists who wear yellow at protests and strongly back Abhisit against mainly rural Thaksin supporters who wear red and say they are disinfranchised.
 
The “red shirts” plan to gather on Monday morning at a military base where Abhisit has taken refuge and is coordinating security. If their demands are not met, they have threatened to march through Bangkok, raising the prospect of paralysing many of the capital’s already-congested streets.
 
Abhisit is widely expected to survive the showdown.
 
He must go to the polls by the end of next year. In his weekly television address on Sunday, Abhisit indicated immediate elections were unlikely, citing the tense political climate and his coalition government’s parliamentary majority.

 

Date created : 2010-03-14

  • THAILAND

    Court strips former premier Thaksin of 1.4 billion dollars

    Read more

  • THAILAND

    Thaksin supporters descend on Bangkok ahead of key protest

    Read more

COMMENT(S)