Thai protesters ignore PM`s plea, cut power to police HQ
Bangkok: Defiant Thai protesters today cut power supply to the national police headquarters, ignoring a plea by beleaguered Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to end their anti-government rallies and negotiate after she emerged unscathed from a no-confidence debate.
Buoyed by her victory in Parliament, she considered an emergency decree to combat the defiance of thousands of protesters occupying ministries and government offices since Sunday in the biggest mass rallies in three years.
Protesters snapped the electricity supply to the national police headquarters, calling on the government to step down and replace it with an unelected "people`s council" - a demand Yingluck said was impossible under the constitution.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Yingluck comfortably survived the no-confidence vote after lawmakers in the ruling party-dominated lower house overwhelmingly rejected the censure motion by 297-134 votes.
The censure motion was held after two days of showdown between the opposition Democrat Party and the ruling coalition-led by Yingluck`s Pheu Thai party.
The opposition filed the motion alleging widespread corruption in the government and accusing Yingluck of acting as a puppet for her fugitive brother, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a coup in 2006.
Yingluck denied the accusations and urged protesters to end rallies in a televised national address after the vote.
"I propose to protesters to stop protesting and leave government offices so the civil service can move forward," she said. The government does not want confrontation and is ready to cooperate with everybody to find a solution," she said.
Protesters, led by former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, have occupied the Ministry of Finance and are holed up in a sprawling government office complex where they camped overnight. They also showed up at the Defence and Education Ministries.
Yingluck has ruled out the use of force to end the protests, seeking to avoid a repeat of the bloodshed seen in 2010 which left more than 90 people dead and nearly 1,900 wounded and deepened the country`s political divide.
But the sources said the government would pressure the protesters to vacate all state offices and could also step up measures by declaring an emergency decree if its call goes unheeded, Bangkok Post quoted sources as saying.
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