Thai Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote
This post was updated at 1:05 p.m. ET
Thailand's embattled prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, survived a no-confidence vote Thursday as anti-government protests entered a fifth day in Bangkok..
The vote, 297 to 134, had been expected to fail because Yingluck's party has a majority in Parliament. Afterward, the prime minister urged protesters to put an end to the demonstrations that have roiled the capital.
"Please call off the protests for the country's peace," Yingluck said, according to The Associated Press. "I'm begging you ... because this doesn't make the situation any better."
The AP reported Thursday that:
"Hordes of demonstrators marched to the police headquarters in the center of Bangkok where they cut the electrical lines to the compound. Helmeted riot police with shields remained holed up inside, but did nothing to stop them.
"The police headquarters is just down the street from the site of pro-Thaksin demonstrations in 2010 that tied up business in central Bangkok for two months. Violence, capped by a military crackdown, left more than 90 people dead."
Yingluck was elected to office more than two years ago, but protesters say she is just a front for her brother former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted during a military coup in 2006 and was convicted of corruption in 2008. The billionaire former telecommunications tycoon now lives in self-imposed exile.
As Krishnadev wrote earlier this week, the latest protests "began after a controversial amnesty bill that critics say would have allowed Thaksin to return home without serving a jail sentence for corruption."
The demonstrations are led by former opposition lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, 64, who has vowed to take over all government ministries.
A police spokesman said the protesters in Bangkok numbered around 15,000 — a sharp drop-off from the 100,000-plus level when the demonstrations began on Sunday.