Thai PM Yingluck reiterates refusal to resign

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Pic: AP.

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s political crisis ground on Tuesday as the country’s prime minister reiterated her refusal to quit as protesters trying to topple her administration blocked key roads in the heart of Bangkok for a second day.

The demonstrators had pledged to “shut down” the city of 12 million people, but life in most of the vast metropolis was unaffected, with school classes restarting, commuters heading to work and most businesses open.

The Southeast Asian nation’s latest bout of unrest began late last year and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has tried to ease it by dissolving Parliament and calling for new elections on Feb. 2.

There are growing doubts that the vote will take place, however, and both protesters and the main opposition Democrat Party are calling for a boycott. Yingluck’s opponents are demanding she step aside so an interim, non-elected government can take over and implement reforms before any new poll is held.[More]