Thai PM stands firm on election, says protests flagging

Anti-government protesters march in a rally in central BangkokBy Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Andrew R.C. Marshall BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand's government stuck to a plan for a February election on Wednesday despite mounting pressure from protesters who have brought parts of Bangkok to a near-standstill, and said it believed support for the leader of the agitation was waning. Some hardline protesters have threatened to blockade the stock exchange and an air traffic control facility if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra does not step down by a deadline media said had been set for 8 p.m. (1300 GMT). The country's political fault line pits the Bangkok-based middle class and royalist establishment against the mostly poorer, rural supporters of Yingluck and her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, a former premier ousted by the military in 2006 who is seen as the power behind her government. After the meeting, the government said the poll would go ahead as scheduled, and it derided the leader of the protest movement, Suthep Thaugsuban.



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