Thai opposition meets to decide on election boycott

Thailand's opposition leader and former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva speaks during a news conference as his party members listen at the Democrat Party headquarters in BangkokBy Apornrath Phoonphongphiphat BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand's main opposition party met on Saturday to decide whether or not to boycott a February election and join anti-government rallies seeking to scuttle the poll and force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra out of office. Opposition Democrat Party lawmakers resigned from parliament this month to march with firebrand protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, a deputy prime minister in the Democrat-led government that was trounced by Yingluck's Puea Thai Party in a 2011 election. Others, however, believe a boycott would damage the credibility of the party that is popular in the south and in Bangkok, but has not won an election in two decades. Yingluck's troubles escalated in November when her Puea Thai Party tried to push an amnesty bill that would have nullified the graft conviction of her brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon at the heart of eight years of on-off political turmoil that has divided Thailand.

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