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Thailand protests gain steam

Bangkok, Dec. 22 (Reuters): Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators massed peacefully across Thailand’s capital today in their latest bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before a February election the main Opposition party is set to boycott.

Yingluck called a snap poll for February 2 to try to cool tension but protesters want to scuttle the election to prevent her from renewing her mandate and perpetuating the influence of her self-exiled brother and former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thailand remains in an all-too-familiar deadlock after eight years of on-off conflict broadly between supporters and opponents of Thaksin, whose populist political machine has won every election since 2001.

Chanting “Yingluck, get out”, whistle-blowing protesters gathered at locations around the city and set up stages in at least four places, bringing traffic to a halt at three main intersections and in two commercial districts.

 
 
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