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Protesters on Phuket today renew demands for an end to corruption

Phuket Protesters Aim to Vote Out Corruption: Photo Special

Sunday, December 22, 2013
PHUKET: Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the streets of Phuket City today to express their support for reforms aimed at wiping out corruption and nepotism in Thailand's future government.

Some speakers also talked about the lack of action on Phuket to protect the environment and achieve a balance between tourism and nature.

In Bangkok, thousands joined a similar peaceful mass protest as the most significant election campaign in Thailand's history began to gain momentum.

The protesters want to bring an end to the alleged control that the Shinawatra family wields over all decisions made by the present government, especially the influence wielded by fugitive former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

His sister Yingluck, the present PM, has promised just a two-year government accompanied by systems reforms. But the protesters want more. They display no trust in any government led by the people they say have tried to turn Thailand into ''the family business.''

They accuse Mr Thaksin of subverting democracy through corruption and populist policies, according to the New York Times.

Opposition Democrat MPs - the Democrats have a strong power base in Thailand's south, including on Phuket - have boycotted the February 2 polls.

An overwhelming victory to Khun Yingluck's Pheu Thai party will underwhelm everybody except the Shinawatra family's most ardent supporters.

On Phuket today, people from all walks of life joined the protest. With the loss of faith in democracy becoming widespread, The head of the Thai army has warned that Thailand's political divisions could ''trigger a civil war''.


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