Protesters plan 'biggest' rally on polling day

BANGKOK - Anti-government protesters have vowed to hold their "biggest" rally yet on election day on Sunday.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban said it would "completely shut down" the capital, Bangkok Post newspaper quoted him as saying on Thursday.

He asked supporters to join the rally by parking their cars on the roads in order to turn them into walking streets, in a bid to slow down voting.

Unlike its polling stations blockade during advance voting last Sunday, Suthep said his People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) will allow people to vote at polling stations, if they could reach them in the first place.

"Those who want to vote and become a servant of the Thaksin regime, just do it, but we won't," the paper quoted him as saying.

Driven by the belief that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is a proxy for her brother Thaksin - the self-exiled former premier deposed by a military coup in 2006 - prostesters have camped out in Bangkok's streets for the past three months and also disrupted election registration.

The fresh rally started on Thursday will continue through Sunday, Suthep said.

The protesters will wear red in their march tomorrow to celebrate Chinese New Year, he said.

"We want to announce to the international community that we do not reject democracy but reject fake democracy. We are calling for reform of the country before an election," Suthep was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying.

He said voters should not worry about not casting the ballots because the election results would be nullified later.

Caretaker Premier Yingluck on Wednesday pleaded with the anti-government protesters not to block others from casting their ballots.

Caretaker Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan on Wednesday ordered all provincial governors to launch pro-election campaigns encouraging people to vote in the election.

Mr Charupong said he instructed the interior permanent secretary to hold a video conference with provincial governors, ordering them to urge as many people as possible to vote, Bangkok Post said.


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