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Thai anti-government protesters have surrounded the stadium where candidates were due to register to stand in February’s elections.
They say political reform is needed before elections take place.
On Sunday, tens of thousands took to the streets of the capital Bangkok, calling on the government to step down.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra, who called the polls in December try to end the rallies, urged protesters to respect the “democratic system”.
The main opposition Democrat Party has said it would boycott February’s elections.
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who was previously a senior Democrat Party politician, said on Sunday: “We disagree with the election. We want the country to be reformed before the election.”
Thai anti-government protesters have surrounded the stadium where candidates were due to register to stand in February’s elections
He urged protesters to gather outside Bangkok’s Din Daeng Thai-Japan Stadium, where candidate registrations were set to take place, on Monday.
“If you want to apply for candidacy, you must walk past our feet first,” Suthep Thaugsuban said.
Political parties began registering their candidates at a local police station instead, while protesters responded by surrounding the police station as well, correspondents say.
Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved parliament and called an election on December 9, after more than 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets calling for her government to step down.
On Sunday, Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters that elections must take place, and urged protesters to express their views at the ballot box.
She said: “If we don’t hold on to the democratic system, what should we hold on to?”
“If you don’t accept this government, please accept the system,” Yingluck Shinawatra added.
Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won the last election in 2011, and has a majority in parliament. However protesters say her brother – ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.
The protesters also accuse the Pheu Thai Party of using public funds irresponsibly to secure votes.
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Thailand’s opposition is to hold a mass rally in the capital Bangkok as its campaign to bring down the government of Yingluck Shinawatra continues.
Protest leaders say they expect a turnout of hundreds of thousands of people.
On Saturday the main opposition Democrat Party said it will boycott elections called for February 2nd.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra called the election earlier this month in a bid to end weeks of protests.
Yingluck Shinawatra won the last elections in 2011, but protesters say her brother – the controversial ousted former leader Thaksin Shinawatra – remains in charge.
Thai opposition is holding a mass rally in Bangkok as its campaign to bring down the government of Yingluck Shinawatra continues
Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said he hoped Sunday’s rally will raise the pressure on Yingluck Shinawatra and her government, the Bangkok Post reported.
The protesters have set up stages at five main intersections and will be attempting to shut down the traffic in the commercial heart of the capital.
The head of the Thai army has warned the country’s political divisions could “trigger a civil war”.
The opposition-backed protests in Bangkok have caused Thailand’s most serious political turmoil since 2010, with four people killed in clashes in recent weeks.
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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
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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Thai police removed barricades from outside both Government House and the police office in Bangkok announcing that protesters are welcomed in the government’s headquarters.
The mood in the capital Bangkok appeared considerably calmer after the move, which followed clashes over the weekend and on Monday.
But as tensions fell, protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to fight on and remove the government.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down.
Yingluck Shinawatra said she was open to negotiations but that calls for the government to be replaced by an appointed council were illegal and unconstitutional.
The protests, which began on November 24, had been largely peaceful until Saturday, when they became violent.
Over the weekend and on Monday demonstrators tried to break apart police barricades and storm the prime minister’s office, Government House, with police using tear gas and water cannon to repel them.
Protest leader and former opposition politician Suthep Thaugsuban said on Monday that the protesters would “take over the Metropolitan Police Bureau and make it the people’s”.
Thai police took down barriers and razor wire outside their building and it was announced that the protesters were welcome inside
On Tuesday morning – in a surprise and possibly shrewd move – the police took down barriers and razor wire outside their building and it was announced that the protesters were welcome inside.
Protesters were allowed through the barricades outside Government House.
Demonstrators gathered on the lawn of the headquarters, blowing whistles and waving flags. AFP news agency reported a “carnival” atmosphere at the site.
Protesters shook hands with police officers, hugged them, and offered them roses.
Deputy Prime Minister Pongthep Thepkanchana said the government was still functioning, but had asked the police to back off.
“We see the protesters just want to seize these places as a symbolic action, so we want to compromise,” he told Reuters.
The police move is seen as an attempt to prevent further clashes.
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Thailand’s PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok.
Yingluck Shinawatra said the demands were not possible under the constitution, but that she remained open to talks.
More clashes broke out on Monday as protesters tried to storm the prime minister’s office, Government House.
Four people have died in Thailand’s worst political turmoil since the 2010 rallies that ended in violence.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra has rejected protesters’ demands that she step down, amid ongoing clashes in Bangkok
“Anything I can do to make people happy, I am willing to do… but as prime minister, what I can do must be under the constitution,” Yingluck Shinawatra said in a televised address.
Anti-government demonstrators have been calling on Yingluck Shinawatra to step down, with protest leader and former opposition politician Suthep Thaugsuban saying on Sunday that Yingluck Shinawatra should resign within the next “two days”.
The protesters want to replace the government with an unelected “People’s Council”, alleging Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by her brother, ousted leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
The protests, which began on November 24, had been largely peaceful until Saturday, when they became violent.
Over the weekend demonstrators tried to break apart police barricades and storm the prime minister’s office, with police using tear gas and water cannons to repel them.
On Monday, protesters returned to the streets again and more clashes occurred, although correspondents said that demonstrator numbers appeared lower than before.
Yingluck Shinawatra has said that she would not authorize the use of force against protesters.
“The military has positioned itself as neutral and it wants to see a peaceful way out,” Yingluck Shinawatra added in Monday’s address.
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Thailand’s protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban says he has met Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and given her two days to “return power to the people”.
Suthep Thaugsuban said the meeting had been held under the auspices of the military and there was no compromise.
He did not say what action would follow if the ultimatum were not heeded.
On the eighth day of action to unseat PM Yingluck Shinawatra, police fended off protesters who descended on key sites in Bangkok. Four people have died in the unrest.
Dozens have been injured.
The protesters had declared Sunday the decisive “V-Day” of what they termed a “people’s coup”.
The worst violence occurred when Thai students attacked vehicles bringing pro-government activists to a Bangkok stadium
They say Yingluck Shinawatra’s administration is controlled by her brother, exiled ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra, and they want to replace it with a “People’s Council”.
Suthep Thaugsuban said he had met the prime minister in a secret location in the presence of the army, navy and air force commanders.
“There was no negotiation and no compromise,” Suthep Thaugsuban was quoted as saying.
“I told Yingluck that this is the only and last time I see her until power is handed over to the people.
“There will be no bargaining and it must be finished in two days.”
Some 30,000 protesters had gathered earlier at about eight sites, police said, including Government House, television stations and the police headquarters.
Protesters did enter several TV stations to ensure a message from Suthep Thaugsuban was aired. It was broadcast by almost all of Thailand’s channels.
Suthep Thaugsuban called a general strike for government employees for Monday.
Yingluck Shinawatra had intended to give media interviews on Sunday at a Bangkok police complex but was forced to leave when protesters tried to break in.
Deputy PM Pracha Promnok urged people in the capital to stay indoors from 22:00 to 05:00 local time “so they will not become victims of provocateurs”.
The worst violence occurred when students attacked vehicles bringing pro-government activists to a Bangkok stadium on Saturday.
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Hundreds of Thai protesters forced their way into the army headquarters in Bangkok, on the sixth day of anti-government rallies.
The protesters broke open a gate, held a rally in the compound asking for the army’s help in their campaign, and later withdrew without confrontation.
On Thursday, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra called for an end to the demonstrations after surviving a no-confidence vote.
But protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has rejected her appeal.
“We will not let them work anymore,” the former senior opposition lawmaker said in a speech late on Thursday.
On Friday, at least 1,000 protesters forced their way into the army headquarters compound, but did not enter any buildings.
They urged the army to come out in support of the demonstrators.
Hundreds of Thai protesters forced their way into the army headquarters in Bangkok, on the sixth day of anti-government rallies
“We want to know which side the army stands on,” Reuters news agency quoted one protester as saying.
Meanwhile security was tightened around the ruling Pheu Thai party headquarters, where more protesters had massed.
Demonstrators have been surrounding and occupying official buildings this week in an attempt to disrupt the government.
During the demonstrations, which have been largely peaceful so far, participants have cut the electricity supply to the national police headquarters and forced the evacuation of Thailand’s top crime-fighting agency.
The protesters say Yingluck Shinawatra’s government is controlled by her brother, exiled former leader Thaksin Shinawatra.
Yingluck Shinawatra has invoked special powers allowing curfews and road closures, and police have also ordered the arrest of Suthep Thaugsuban – but so far no move has been made to detain him.
In a televised address on Thursday, Yingluck Shinawatra said the protesters should negotiate with the government.
“The government doesn’t want to enter into any political games because we believe it will cause the economy to deteriorate,” Yingluck Shinawatra said.
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Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government’s top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok.
The protesters, who want Yingluck Shinawatra’s government to step down, marched to a complex of government offices outside the city.
The anti-government protest leader said they wanted to shut down government ministries in a bid to cause disruption.
They accuse the government of being controlled by the prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.
The protests are being led by former opposition Democrat Party lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, for whom police have issued an arrest warrant.
They began on Sunday and so far have targeted the finance, foreign and interior ministries, among others.
Thai protesters have forced the evacuation of the government’s top crime-fighting agency, on the fourth day of street demonstrations in Bangkok
“Let the people go to every ministry that remains to make civil servants stop serving the Thaksin regime,” the Associated Press news agency quoted Suthep Thaugsuban as saying.
“Once you take over, civil servants can no longer serve the Thaksin regime. Brothers and sisters, go seize the city hall.”
Despite the arrest warrant, police made no attempt to detain him as he led protesters to government offices.
On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of protesters surrounded the Department of Special Investigations (DSI), which is Thailand’s equivalent of the FBI.
The DSI is a particular target for the demonstrators – they accuse its chief of conducting partisan investigations against opponents of the government.
The DSI chief ordered his staff to leave as protesters surrounded the building, Reuters news agency said.
PM Yingluck Shinawatra – who on Monday invoked special powers allowing officials to impose curfews – said that the government would not use force against protesters.
“This is not the <<Thaksin regime>>, this is a democratically elected government,” Yingluck Shinawatra told media outside parliament.
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