23 March 2018

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11/28/2013 THAILAND

Bangkok, Parliament rejects no-confidence vote. Protests continue on the streets

With 297 votes in favor and 134 against , the executive fends off the assaults of the parliamentary opposition. The Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra open to talks, but protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban rejects the offer . Appeal from UN secretary general for restraint and respect for human rights.

Bangkok ( AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the executive have survived the no confidence motion tabled by the opposition in Parliament, amid continuing street protests in the and southern provinces of Thailand. In recent days, the Prime Minister - accused of leading a "facade" executive, while the real power is in the hands of her brother Thaksin - asked for special powers to impose curfews and close roads to prevent violence . Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, calls on the parties to exercise restraint and to " respect the law and human rights."

In Parliament, the government easily defeated the opposition motion for no confidence . The proposal was rejected by 297 votes in favor and 134 against. The next moves by the opposition are still unknown, but it seems certain that the street protests will continue in the coming days.

Yingluck Shinawatra has declared she is open to negotiations with the opposition , but the offer has not yet been accepted. The leader of the opposition - and the leader of the protest - Suthep Thaugsuban said that "there will be no meeting with her " and " political reform will be a victory of the people. Politicians will have no role in the political reform of the nation ."

The anti-government protests (so far peaceful ) against the Shinawatra family is the most impressive since the crisis of 2010, when the kingdom was shaken by a series of protests that ended in a bloodbath and the deaths of 90 civilians . According to the protesters true eminence grise of the current leadership is Yingluck 's brother , Thaksin Shinawatra , the billionaire who fled into exile to escape a prison sentence for corruption.

Thai political experts explain that the current battle against the government and Thaksin family hides an attempt to "bring the monarchy back within the fold of active politics ," as well as protect the top institutions in the country. At the head of this movement is Suthep Thaugsuban - Deputy Prime Minister at the time of the massacre three years ago - who has reinvented himself as a folk hero and leader in the fight "against the Thaksin regime". However, analysts warn , it is "dangerous" to involve the monarchy for political struggle because it is likely to trigger conflicts and tensions that will be difficult to control. Suthep's battle also hides the Democratic Party's inability to defeat the Shinawatra's Puea Thai Party at the polls, which enjoys a broad consensus in many areas of the country.

With the fall of the Thaksin's administration in 2006, Thailand saw a wave of protests that led to social and political instability. The latest chapter was triggered by the government's amnesty bill, which would (among other things) allow Thaksin Shinawatra to return from exile. The proposal, which was recently rejected by the Senate, has also angered government supporters because it would have pardoned those responsible for the massacres of 2010. For Prime Minister Yingluck's government, which has a big majority in parliament and is not likely to lose a vote in the House, this is the most critical time since she came to power in 2011.


See also

24/03/2009 THAILAND
Thai premier announces more economic aid to counter recession
Thai PM survives no-confidence vote, faces mass rally next Thursday and calls for his resignation. He is pledging US$ 40 billion in three years to cope with economic downturn and unemployment.

07/10/2008 THAILAND
New government takes over in Bangkok amidst barricades, teargas and 60 wounded
Demonstrators belonging to the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) want the resignation of the prime minister, a relative of Thaksin, and a change to the electoral law, too favourable to the rural majority deemed uneducated and manipulable.

18/02/2014 THAILAND
Bangkok, police and protesters clash: one dead, several injured and hundreds of arrests
The police intervene to clear government offices and ministries in the capital, sparking scuffles with the "Yellow Shirts". The government intends to reassert control by the weekend. The opposition leader speaks of "reforms for the benefit of the country", because "the only enemy is the Thaksin regime".

17/05/2010 THAILAND
"Red shirt" general dies. Tension rises in other provinces
At 2pm yet another ultimatum expires. Women and children flee to a temple. The government rejects UN mediation. A quarter of the country under emergency rule. Markets fall by 2.5%.

25/11/2013 THAILAND
Bangkok : tens of thousands take to streets against government , fears of new violence
The " Yellow Shirts " demand ouster of the executive and the resignation of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra . Protest sparked by proposed amnesty for Thaksin . Opponents believe he is the true "leader" of the current government . Repression of the 2010 protests, with 90 deaths, still vivid.

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