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Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra survives vote; calls for talks, end to protests

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 21:06

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Bangkok: Having won a no-confidence vote in the Parliament, Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra offered to negotiate with the demonstrators, urging the, to end the protests warning that it would hurt the economy.

Soon after she survived the no-confidence vote, Shinawatra spoke on television suggesting that the two sides must negotiate.

"The government doesn`t want to enter into any political games because we believe it will cause the economy to deteriorate," she said.

Before the vote, she had pleaded to the protesters saying, "Please call off the protests for the country`s peace," Yingluck said. "I`m begging you, the protesters, because this doesn`t make the situation any better."

With 297 lawmakers voting in her favour and 134 against in the Parliament, Shinawatra has survived the immediate threat to her government however the protests continued for the fifth day.

"The government doesn`t want to enter into any political games because we believe it will cause the economy to deteriorate," she said.

Shinawatra’s comments came as the protesters, led by former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, continued rallying in a bid to topple the government alleging that the government was being run by her brother Thaksin Shinawatra.

The demonstrations are the biggest threat to Yingluck`s administration since she came to power two and a half years ago in a vote her Pheu Thai party won by a landslide.

At the centre of the protests is a controversial political amnesty bill that people say will enable the ousted ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra to come back to Thailand without serving a jail sentence for corruption.

Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a military coup in 2006 for alleged corruption.

The protests began on Sunday when more than 150,000 demonstrators took to streets in Bangkok, shouting slogans against the so-called "Thaksin regime".

The protesters then targeted the Finance, Foreign and the Interior Ministry in last two days.

Reacting to the rallies, the PM invoked a tough security law namely, Internal Security Act which allows the officials to block roads, impose curfews and ban the use of electronic devices.

However, the demonstrators have been defying the law and going on with their protests.

But Education Minister Chaturon Chaiseng has told the BBC that there are no chances of coup as the Army hasn’t yet favoured the demonstrators, and that the government needed to "regain the trust and faith of people".

First Published: Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 14:43
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