12/09/2013, 00.00
THAILAND
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Bangkok: parliament dissolved for early elections. But protest continues

The Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra wants to return "power to the people" and return to vote "as soon as possible." A response to the mass resignation yesterday of the opposition. The demonstrators head towards the seat of the executive. The protest leaders proclaiming "Judgment Day" and want the whole Shinawatra family out of the country .

Bangkok ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced the dissolution of parliament and early elections to put an end to street protests that for several days - except for a brief interval for the king's birthday - have rocked Bangkok. The decision of the Prime Minister comes to 24 hours after the mass resignation of the parliamentary opposition and the announcement of a massive march of protesters (the yellow shirts ) to the seat of government scheduled for today. Meanwhile, the head of the army - the real power in the country, protagonist in the past several coups - continues to reiterate its neutrality, although some high-ranking officials in recent days have mediated between the two sides, claiming they do not want to be " involved " in the dispute.

The Thai government wants to avert bloodshed and violence in the streets, as confirmed by the Prime Minister Shinawatra this morning in a speech to the nation. "The government does not want any loss of life," she said. "At this stage, when there are many people opposed to the government from many groups, the best way is to give back the power to the Thai people and hold an election ." At the moment there are no dates on the calendar for the election, even though the Prime Minister has assured that will take place "as soon as possible."

December 6, celebrating his 86th birthday,  King Bhumibol Adulyadej urged collaboration and mutual support. An implicit reference to the clashes last week , which caused four deaths and dozens of injuries . The goal of the uprising is the resignation of the government led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra , accused of being a "puppet" in the hands of her brother Thaksin , a billionaire and former prime minister in exile to escape a two year prison sentence.

In fact , the current government was elected in 2011 in a democratic way and 28 November last comfortably passed a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition in Parliament (297 votes against 134).

Under the current rules , following the dissolution of Parliament, elections must take place within two months, but the Prime Minister's move might not be enough to meet the demands of the protesters, who want a radical change of the entire democratic system and confirm that the will march to the government offices. During today's protest, dubbed "Judgment Day" they are demanding that the current Prime Minister Yingluck and the entire family leave the country (forever).

Many analysts and policy experts point out that the Thai government still enjoys widespread support in many sections of the population, especially among rural and northern Thailand. And, in all probability, in the event of new elections could easily regain the leadership of the country. In contrast, the protesters claim that the current government be replaced by a "people's council " , not elected by the citizens . Opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban said that "the movement will continue to fight" until they have eradicated the "Thaksin regime " .

 

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