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World Briefing / Thailand

Thousands of marchers demand new elections

February 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand's seat of government in Bangkok, delivering an ultimatum to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call elections within 15 days or face bigger street demonstrations.

Media reports said 30,000 supporters of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship were at Government House, which was occupied for three months last year by the People's Alliance for Democracy, a rival protest group. Leaders of the current protest told the crowd that they did not want to cause trouble or storm the compound. Instead, they said, they would deliver a letter telling Abhisit to sack his foreign minister, whom they accuse of being a cheerleader for the People's Alliance, prosecute that group's leaders for their occupation of Government House and Bangkok's two airports last year, and call new elections.

Police had positioned more than 5,000 officers around the compound in Bangkok's old town.

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