Pattaya Daily News

30 March 2006 :: 12:03:28 pm 30405

Protests Hot up in Preparation for Election

Bangkok business districts suffer from disruptions caused by the spreading demonstarions in the capital. Siam Square was one of the venues yet again for protestors supporting the People's Alliance for Democracy's protest against caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and what were described as his ''illegitimate elections'' on Sunday, April 2nd.
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In a further escalation, Bangkok’s business and shopping plazas were inundated by an estimated 50,000 people who had joined the campaign to oust Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This despite polls suggesting that the public are growing weary of weeks of street rallies.

Another PAD leader, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, called on people to wear black from March 31st to April 2nd in protest against what he said would be the dirtiest poll in history.

In Chiang Mai, Mr Thaksin accused the demonstrators of damaging the economy while he expounded on his plans for his third term in power.
After the election, Mr Thaksin said, he would restore confidence among foreign investors through a series of road shows.

About 1,000 current and former students from the faculty of arts of the nearby Chulalongkorn University, were among the demonstrators yesterday. They wore pink, their university’s colour and carried banners with a message written in Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Cambodian and English saying ”Thaksin, get out.”

The demonstrators gathered in front of the National Stadium at 3pm before marching to the shopping malls. The men led the six-wheeled truck on which PAD leaders Maj-Gen Chamlong, Pibhop Dhongchai and Somsak Kosaisuk took turns to address the crowds.
But when the procession passed the Nimibutr Stadium, a number of leaflets attacking the demonstrators were dropped from a sky train station. The procession received loud applause from people on both sides of Rama I road and on footbridges and sky train stations. The demonstrators finally reached the Chalermphao intersection where Rama I and Henri Dunant roads meet. The demonstration saw about 100,000 people pack Rama I Road from Pathumwan to Ratchaprasong intersections.

Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai (Thais love Thai) party, which won 377 of 500 seats in parliament in a February 2005 general election, is expected to win another huge majority on Sunday.

However, an opposition boycott means the result is likely to be constitutionally invalid, since unopposed TRT candidates in staunchly anti-Thaksin seats will struggle to win a minimum 20 percent threshold of eligible votes.

On Sunday, as 10,000 anti-Thaksin protesters marched through the same district, furious motorists and shoppers caught in the congestion said they supported the campaign but thought disrupting ordinary lives was too much.
In its latest ABAC poll, conducted on Monday, Assumption University said only 26 percent of Bangkok people thought Thaksin should quit, compared to 27 percent two days previously and 48 percent three weeks earlier.

Thaksin admitted the crisis was hitting the economy but said foreign investors would not panic about the temporary setback.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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