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Thai Premier Yingluck breaks down in tears

December 10, 2013 13:11 IST

Thailand's embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who dissolved parliament and called for a snap poll by February 2, on Tuesday broke down in tears insisting that she will not resign ahead of the elections, as a defiant anti-government leader gave her 24 hours deadline to quit.

"We are fellow Thais. Why do we have (to) hurt one another. I have retreated so far and I don't know where to retreat further. Do you (protesters) want me to not even set foot on Thai soil?" Yingluck, also the defence minister, said at the Thai Army Club during the weekly cabinet meeting 

She urged the protesters not to condemn the Shinawatra clan, and asked the opposition Democrat Party to help preserve democracy by taking part in the elections, Bangkok Post newspaper said.

Senior members of ruling Pheu Thai Party last night agreed to make 46-year-old Yingluck the top candidate on the party list for the next elections, party spokesman Prompong Nopparit said in Bangkok.

Prompong said Yingluck would be nominated to stand as prime minister again if the party won the polls because she had shown strong leadership in her current term by making decisions that protected democracy and the general public.

Thailand will go to polls on February 2 next year after Yingluck dissolved the Parliament on Monday.

Yingluck's decision to dissolve parliament followed weeks of anti-government protests by opposition Democrat party supporters who want Yingluck and her administration to quit.

Meanwhile, the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee has repeated its demand that Yingluck must step down.

"The PDRC gives Yingluck 24 hours to decide since PDRC secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban made the announcement at 10.30pm yesterday," Suthep's stepson Akanat Promphan was quoted as saying by the Post.

Yingluck swept to power in July 2011 trouncing the Democrat Party. There were no protest marches on Tuesday.

Yingluck, who protesters accuse of acting as a proxy for her fugitive brother and former premier Thaksin Shinwatra, was under pressure to quit and call a fresh poll since late last month, when protests started for her government to be replaced with an unelected "People's Council".

Thaksin was overthrown in a coup in 2006.       Five persons have died and hundreds injured in the anti-government protests in Thailand's worst political turmoil since the 2010 rallies that swept Abhisit from power.

The violence paused briefly late last week to mark revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej 86'th birthday.

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