Protesters gather across Thai capital, demand PM resigns

Anti-government protesters gather during a rally at Victory Monument in BangkokBy Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat BANGKOK (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators massed peacefully across Thailand's capital on Sunday in their latest bid to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra before a February election the main opposition party will boycott. Yingluck has called a snap poll for February 2 to try to cool tension and renew her mandate, but protesters reject any election until the implementation of vague reforms ostensibly aimed at weakening the influence of the Shinawatra family. Thailand remains in an all-too-familiar deadlock after eight years of on-off conflict broadly between supporters and opponents of Yingluck's self-exiled tycoon brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, whose populist political machine has won every election since 2001. Among the main protagonists in Thailand's turmoil is a Bangkok establishment with influence among judges and generals and which backs protests against governments controlled by Thaksin, who they see as a tax-dodging crony capitalist who enriches his family and his network of business friends.

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