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Thailand's Opposition to Boycott April General Election


Thailand's opposition parties say they will boycott the country's upcoming general election, because Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has declined to commit himself to a program of political reforms.

Despite the boycott call, and growing public demands for Mr. Thaksin to step down because of alleged corruption and abuse of power, political observers say the prime minister and his supporters are expected to win the April 2nd general election easily.

Mr. Thaksin says the leaders of all Thai political parties must consult and agree on any proposed reforms. He set a meeting this Monday evening with the three main opposition parties Chart Thai, Democrat, Muan Chon, but they refused to take
part.

At least 50 thousand people joined a protest in Bangkok Sunday that demanded the prime minister's ouster. Their leaders say demonstrations will continue.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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