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Yingluck gets two-day ultimatum to 'return power'

Updated: 2013-12-02 07:46
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Yingluck gets two-day ultimatum to 'return power'

An anti-government protester throws a tear gas canister towards police from behind a barricade during clashes near the Government House in Bangkok December 1, 2013. About 30,000 protesters launched a "people's coup" on Thailand's government on Sunday, swarming state agencies in violent clashes, taking control of a state broadcaster and forcing the prime minister to flee a police compound. [Photo/Agencies]

BANGKOK - Thailand's anti-government protesters gave Sunday night an two-day ultimatum to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to return power to the people, which suggested the resignation of the lady premier and dissolution of the Lower House.

However, while the move would probably suspend the rising protests, it is unlikely to resolve the fundamental conflicts between the two sides, particularly as most observers agree that the ruling Pheu Thai Party would almost return to power after a snap national election.

Suthep Thaugsuban, who is leading the biggest street protests in the country since 2010, made the announcement while briefing his supporters about his meeting with the prime minister earlier the day.

The stance of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), which is to push for political reform by the People's Council, has been reaffirmed at the meeting, said Suthep, who now acts as secretary-general of the newly-founded alliance of various anti- government groups.

He said the protesters would not be satisfied until scoring "a victory for the people", but didn't mention what actions would follow if the ultimatum is defied. The former Democrat legislator, who earlier rejected the government's call for negotiation, claimed that this meeting would be the last between him and Yingluck. "There was no negotiation and no compromise," he said.

All armed forces leaders, including Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, reportedly witnessed the meeting, which was held at an undisclosed location.

It was believed to be the first time that the top military leaders had become involved in the current political conflicts.

Earlier on Sunday, Prayuth, who has claimed the army's neutral stance, offered to mediate negotiation between the government and protesters to put a quick end to the political crisis.

Fear for military coup has been on rise since violence erupted Saturday night between a group of protesters and government supporters, which left at least four dead and 57 injured.

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