World News

Thai Opposition Protesters Launch Bangkok Shutdown

Thai opposition protesters have begun their attempted shutdown of the capital city of Bangkok, in an attempt to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and disrupt elections set for February 2.

Thousands of protesters massed at strategic points in the city Monday to block main highways and prevent government offices from functioning.

Prime Minister Yingluck has dissolved parliament, called for the early elections, and proposed the formation of a national reform council as a way to resolve the months-long political crisis.

But the opposition has said that is not enough. Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has called for a non-elected "people's council" to replace the current government and implement reforms to end corruption and money politics.

Analysts say the prime minister's ruling party is likely to win the snap elections.



The opposition views Ms. Yingluck as a puppet of her brother, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Mr. Thaksin, a billionaire businessman, was ousted in a 2006 military coup. He was convicted of corruption and lives in self-imposed exile.

VOA Special Report

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