Thailand PM says there will be no early election to appease protesters

[JURIST] Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] announced [video, interview] on Friday that there will be no early election in response to recent protests by citizens who want her removed from office. Shinawatra said she is unsure whether such a measure would appease the protesters and maintains that she will not authorize the use of force to disperse peaceful protesters. Tensions have increased lately as opposing protesters have continued to clash [BBC report], most recently on Saturday, resulting in one death and several injuries. Shinawatra survived a no-confidence vote earlier this week while continuously attempting to negotiate a settlement. The demonstration against Shinawatra is the biggest in the country since the 2010 anti-government protests in which 90 civilians were killed in a military crackdown. Tensions heightened throughout the week leading up to Shinawatra's announcement, as protesters began surrounding public buildings and disrupting police and military forces.

Thailand's political system has been unstable since the 2006 military coup [AHRC backgrounder, PDF] by the Royal Thai Army against then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile], and the Bangkok crackdown has only exacerbated the instability. Yesterday, protesters in Thailand demand assistance in overthrowing the government [JURIST report]. Earlier this week, in response to the protests, Shinawatra invoked a special security law [JURIST report] in districts of Bangkok and nearby areas after protesters stormed and occupied several key ministries. A week earlier, Thailand's high court refused to allow [JURIST report] the ruling party to amend constitution. Following democratic party defeats in 2011, Abhisit Vejjajiva [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] resigned [Bangkok Post report] as prime minister. A month before his departure, he rejected a proposal [JURIST report] by the opposition party seeking a referendum to grant amnesty to those involved in the 2006 military coup.

 

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