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Thai Army Chief Calls for Parliament to be Dissolved

  • David Dyar

Thailand's influential army chief has called for parliament to be dissolved and early elections held as the best way to end anti-government protests.

General Anupong Paojinda said Monday he does not want to use force against the thousands of red-shirted protesters who are demanding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva resign.

The general said dissolving parliament appears to be the reasonable step to take.

Thailand's election commission Monday recommended Prime Minister Abhisit's Democrat Party be dissolved, accusing it of accepting a multi-million dollar campaign contribution in 2005.

A party spokesman says it fully complied with funding laws.

The red-shirted protesters carried mock coffins through the streets of Bangkok Monday to mourn the victims of Saturday's violennce in the Thai capital.

At least 21 people were killed and more than 900 injured when police fired at demonstrators -- some of whom were also armed.

Most of the so-called "Red Shirts" support exiled Prime Minister Thaskin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup because of allegations of corruption.

The protesters call Mr. Abhisit an illegitimate leader.

Mr. Thaskin has the backing of many rural and poor Thais.

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