Thai protesters threaten to capture PM: Thailand anti-government protesters on Tuesday threatened to capture Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and close down all government offices on Tuesday, the second day of their “Bangkok shutdown” campaign.
Fiery protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition Democrat Party MP and deputy PM under the previous government, vowed from a rally stage in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district to “capture” the prime minister and her cabinet members “one by one” if they do not resign within days, according to reports.
But yesterday Ms. Yingluck remained defiant, saying she would not step down because it is her duty to protect Thailand’s fragile democracy.
“I am not attached to my position,” Ms Yingluck said. “I am not staying to safeguard my political stability. I am doing my duty to safeguard democracy because democracy belongs to the Thai people,” she reportedly said.
The protesters have blocked and occupied several key intersections in the city, where they broadcast bombastic anti-government speeches from rally stages – just as the red-shirt protesters did in 2010 when the situation was reversed.
A hardcore faction of the anti-government movement this week threatened to besiege the stock exchange and air traffic control if Ms. Yingluck does not step down within days, but the mainstream protest movement has distanced itself from such rhetoric.
The government has not tried to stop the protests, and continues to support the February 2 election, despite the Election Commission (EC) urging a postponement.
The protest movement is trying to disrupt the election, saying reforms must be put into place before another election.
The EC fears an outbreak of violence if the election is held, plus there are legal complications because of the protesters’ success in blocking candidate registration is some provinces in the South, which would make it impossible for parliament to legally convene with the required 95% of MPs in attendance.
The main opposition Democrat Party is boycotting the election.