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article imageThai protesters march again in bid to bring down government

By Justin King     Jan 6, 2014 in World
Bangkok - Protesters in Thailand, readying for an attempted revolution later this month, took to the streets on Sunday and marched through the capital city.
The protesters will attempt to shut down Bangkok later this month in hopes of deposing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. They accuse her of carrying out the orders of former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, who is now in residence outside of the country. Thaksin Shinawatra is Yingluck’s brother.
On January 13, opposition groups plan on marching through Bangkok and grinding Yingluck’s government to a halt by blocking government offices. Yingluck’s government has indicated that it will deploy 20,000 police officers and 20 companies of soldiers to combat the protest. Loyalist “red shirts” will ring the city in an attempt to show support for the government, setting the stage for large scale confrontations and violence. In 2010, widespread protests rocked the country, and in the following military crackdown 91 were killed.
The opposition protesters want general reform of the government, specifically electoral reform. The next elections are almost certain to be won by Yingluck’s party which mostly draws its support from the rural and poorer sections of the nation. The government’s rice subsidies and other benefits to those sections of the country keep the impoverished voters loyal, and provide opposition parties with fodder for their claims that Yingluck is subverting the democracy by effectively buying votes of the poor.
In 2006, Yingluck’s brother was ousted by a military coup then fled the country after a 2008 conviction for graft. He was sentenced to two years in prison for the crime, and a recent attempt by his sister to pardon him inflamed tensions in the country.
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