Thai Anti-Government Protesters to Call for New Elections

The streets of Bangkok are full of anti-government protesters calling for new elections.

They have mobilised convoys of motorcycles and pickup trucks as part of their campaign to support ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This is the second weekend of protest action.

The country’s new prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has been blocked from his office and parliament and has taken refuge at a military base.

He rejects claims that he is an illegitimate leader, and that big business, army generals and top judges have colluded to undermine democracy, Euronews reports.

Bangkok Post has reported that red-shirt supporters of the United front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) in Bangkok and nearby provinces were waiting at several intersections and circles to join the main mobile rally caravan from Pha Fa bridge, police said.

About 100 red-shirts on motorcycles and pick-up trucks on Saturday morning gathered at Bang Khen circle near the 11th Infantry Regiment, while their colleagues on 50 motorcycles were waiting at Yommarat intersection.

Bangkok's summer heat has taken a toll with fewer than 15,000 at the rally site Friday, after more than 100,000 people gathered last Sunday.

The protesters, known as red shirts for the color they wear, support former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a coup in 2006. They say the current government is illegitimate since it was put in place after courts removed two pro-Thaksin governments. They demand that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva call new elections.

Kudeb Saikrajang, a member of the pro-Thaksin Puea Thai Party, says organizers plan to prolong the protests.

"They have to continue the rally as long as possible until the prime minister [Abhisit] has to declare that he will do something about the house dissolution," said Kudeb Saikrajang. "So that strategy is to prolong the rally.

The government side seem to think that the people will disperse after sometime and the leaders here try to prove that they government is wrong," Voice of America reports.  

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