Opposition protesters in Thailand begin to shutdown the capital

Eurasia News

BANGKOK: The opposition protesters in Thailand on Monday began to shutdown the capital Bangkok in a bid to oust the government-led by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before the countrywide elections scheduled on February 2.

The protesters vowed to stop officials going to work and cut off power to key state offices and began blocking roads in different parts of Bangkok as they were building barricades and occupying key road junctions.

They want Yingluck Shinawatra to step down to make way for an appointed government that will oversee electoral reforms to curb the political dominance of her billionaire family and tackle a wider culture of money politics.

Meanwhile, the authorities said that they were ready to declare a state of emergency if there is fresh unrest, and roughly 20,000 police and soldiers were deployed for security.

The anti-government protesters accuse Yingluck Shinawatra-led government of being a proxy of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, the elder brother of current PM Shinawatra.

The government came under more criticism when it tried to pass an amnesty bill last month which would pave the way for the Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006 by the military and in self-exile in Dubai, to return without facing any trial.