Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

France defends deficit reduction delay in 2015 budget

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'France is sinking!'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Global support pours in for Hong Kong protesters

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola: UN sets target of 60 days to turn things around

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

On the frontline of horror: Editing images from war zones

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's desperate seas: Migrant deaths crossing Mediterranean top 3,000 in 2014 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's desperate seas: Migrant deaths crossing Mediterranean top 3,000 in 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

'All is Well' for Lisa Simone

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

EU questions Apple's tax deals in Ireland

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)