Protests Return to Bangkok

'Red shirt' demonstrators surround PM's office, demand elections
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2009 7:42 AM CST
Thousands of anti-government protesters in Bangkok, the Thai capital, are demanding the dissolution of parliament and fresh elections.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Protests returned to the streets of Bangkok today, Bloomberg reports, as thousands of supporters of the exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra demanded fresh elections. The "red shirt" demonstrators assembled outside the new government's offices but vowed not to occupy it, as the yellow-wearing People's Alliance for Democracy did last year. Abhisit Vejjajiva became PM in December after months of protests culminated in the court-ordered ouster of his predecessor, a Thaksin ally.

"The best way to solve the conflict between the red and yellow shirts is to return power to the people through an election," said one demonstrator. Yesterday Abhisit said that the protesters were free to demonstrate, "but they have to respect the law." Later this week leaders from across Southeast Asia arrive in Thailand for a summit, but the meeting has been moved from Bangkok to a beach town to avoid the protests.