Final protests to oust Thai PM planned

Bangkok, September 18 :

Opponents of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra today announced their final push to oust the premier, saying they would launch a protest later this week that will not end until the embattled leader quits.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), which organised months of rallies earlier this year and brought hundreds of thousands into the streets to demand Thaksin resign, said a new demonstration would kick off on Wednesday in Bangkok.

“It will be our last major protest to pressure Thaksin to step down. The demonstration would not end until Thaksin resigns and completely ends his political career,” said Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the PAD’s leaders.

Thailand has been mired in a crisis over Thaksin’s leadership, and it is hoped that elections expected in late November will break the political deadlock that has left the kingdom without an elected government for months. Thaksin had previously indicated he would quit his post, and did step down after dissolving parliament in February, only to return following an outcry from his rural supporters. He has since refused to say whether he will again seek the premiership.

Snap polls called by the premier in April to end the protests were later invalidated, forcing another vote.