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Thai stability hangs in the balance

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 01:31

Jan. 23 - If or when Thailand's government will collapse under continued opposition remains to be seen. Julie Noce reports.

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After months of anti-government demonstrations by thousands of protesters in the Thai capital Bangkok, the future of the country is still uncertain. Trouble began last November when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra attempted to grant amnesty to her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently hiding out in Dubai to avoid corruption charges. Since then, demonstrations became more frequent and more intense. Eventually, Yingluck called for elections to be held in February. But opposition members and supporters say they will boycott the poll- which Yingluck would likely win. They are calling for Yingluck to step down and for a complete overhaul of the electoral process. Political analysts say an election might actually benefit the opposition. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) CHAIWAT SATHA-ANAND, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT THAMMASAT UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "If they push through with the election, what will happen is that we will have a new government with less stability. Many people think that is a problem but I think that will become an opportunity for the protesters to force them to make reforms and they will be a short term government." Although this month's push to unseat the ruling party appears to be dwindling, a mandatory state of emergency has been imposed to help control the crowds. So far, the army has stayed neutral, but they have staged or attempted 18 coups in the country's 81 years of on-again off-agin democracy. For now, the Electoral Commission is trying to postpone the February elections. A decision on whether they will be allowed to do so could come at any time.

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Thai stability hangs in the balance

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 01:31