Thai Opposition Quits En Masse

A day ahead of protests billed as final showdown with PM
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 8, 2013 6:22 AM CST
Thai Opposition Quits En Masse
Democrat leader and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva speaks along with his party members during a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.   (Sakchai Lalit)

Thailand's main opposition party resigned from Parliament today en masse to protest what it called "the illegitimacy" of a government with which it can no longer work, deepening the country's political crisis a day before new demonstrations that many fear could turn violent. A Democrat Party spokesman said the legislature is "no longer accepted by the people;" leader and former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva dismissed PM Yingluck Shinawatra's government as "illegitimate" since her ruling party tried to ram through an amnesty bill designed to bring back her ousted brother Thaksin from exile. "The prime minister has never showed any responsibility or conscience," he said.

The Democrats, which held 153 of 480 seats in the lower house, have not won an election since 1992, and some leaders appear to have given up on electoral politics because they cannot win. Protesters have vowed a final showdown tomorrow in Bangkok and will march en masse to Yingluck's office. In a speech today, Yingluck said again that she would be "happy to resign" and dissolve Parliament if that could ease the crisis, but Yingluck added, "it must be asked whether this is the wish of the majority of the people or not." (Read more Thailand stories.)

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