Thai PM easily survives no-confidence vote amid street protests

Agence France-Presse
(UPDATED) The vote comes amid ongoing mass street protests in Bangkok by opposition protesters seeking to topple Yingluck's elected government

SURVIVES VOTE. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks during a no-confidence debate at Parliament in Bangkok on November 26, 2013. AFP / Pornchai Kittiwongsakul

BANGKOK, Thailand (UPDATED) – Thailand’s embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday, November 28, easily survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote against her, the house speaker said, as raucous protests continued on Bangkok’s streets.

“Prime Minister Yingluck won the vote of confidence,” said Somsak Kiatsuranont, with 297 lawmakers voting in her favor and 134 against.

The vote, which pivoted on a slew of allegations of corruption, comes amid ongoing mass street protests in Bangkok by opposition protesters seeking to topple Yingluck’s elected government.

Demonstrators have paralyzed government ministries in Bangkok to challenge Yingluck and the self-exiled Thaksin, in the biggest street protests since mass rallies in 2010 that turned deadly.

Protesters accuse Yingluck and her government of acting as a stooge to her brother, the billionaire tycoon-turned-politician who is adored by many of the country’s rural and urban working class. But he is reviled by many in the elite and the middle classes.

The opposition Democrat Party brought the no-confidence motion alleging Yingluck and her government had overseen widespread corruption, including in a controversial rice subsidy scheme which is seen to have benefitted the rural heartlands of her Puea Thai party.

On Wednesday, November 27, protesters entered a major government complex in the northern outskirts of the capital and also forced staff to leave the Justice Department’s besieged Department of Special Investigations.

Outside Bangkok, protesters gathered at about 25 provincial halls mainly in the opposition’s southern heartlands – including on the tourist island of Phuket.

While the demos have so far been largely peaceful, there are fears they could degenerate into another bout of street violence in a country that has seen several episodes of political unrest since Thaksin was toppled in a 2006 coup. –

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