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Thais Protest Against Prime Minister as Opposition Threatens Election Boycott


Thousands of Thai anti-government protesters in Bangkok are demanding Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra step down.

The protesters gathered in Thailand's capital Sunday, displaying banners demanding Mr. Thaksin resign.

Meanwhile, opposition parties delayed a boycott decision on snap national elections called by the embattled leader until Monday.

Earlier Sunday, the three main opposition parties - Democrat, Chart Thai, Mahachon - said they wanted a meeting with officials from Mr. Thaksin's party to discuss political reforms.

The prime minister announced snap elections for April 2 on Friday after he dissolved parliament amid increasing demands that he resign. Some political observers have said the move appears aimed at retaining a hold on power, since his party commands an overwhelming majority in parliament and would be expected to win the election.

Prime Minister Thaksin is facing mounting pressure over allegations of corruption and his family's nearly $2 billion, tax-free stock sale of its telecom business.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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