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Yingluck Shinawatra rejects resignation call

Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she resign before February’s snap elections.

Demonstrators have been calling for Yingluck Shinawatra to resign and be replaced with a “people’s prime minister”.

Yingluck Shinawatra won the last polls in 2011, but protesters say ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra remains in charge.

Thailand is facing its largest political turmoil since 2010.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Yingluck Shinawatra urged protesters to stop and “use the electoral system to choose who will become the next government”.

“I must do my duty as caretaker prime minister according to the constitution,” she said.

Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters' demands that she resign before February's snap elections

Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she resign before February’s snap elections

She added: “I have retreated as far as I can – give me some fairness.”

On Monday, around 150,000 protesters had converged around the government headquarters in what they had described as a final push to unseat the government.

On the same day, Yingluck Shinawatra announced that she would dissolve parliament and call elections, now set for February 2.

However, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition politician, said that the demonstrations would continue.

“We will select a people’s prime minister and set up a government of the people and a people’s assembly to replace parliament,” he said late on Monday.

On Tuesday the streets were quiet and the number of protesters had diminished significantly.

However, a small core of protesters remained outside government buildings, correspondents said.

Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party has a majority in parliament, and draws significant support from Thailand’s rural areas. The party is seen as well-placed to win February’s election.

Anti-government protesters say Yingluck Shinawatra’s party is controlled by ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

They accuse it of using public funds irresponsibly to secure votes and want her government to be replaced with an unelected “People’s Council”.

Thaksin Shinawatra, a polarizing politician, is in self-imposed exile after he was overthrown in a military army coup in 2006 and convicted of corruption.

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