Massive protest against Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra

Featured South East Asia - November 26th, 2012
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Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is facing a no-confidence motion filed by the opposition a day after a massive protest turned violent in Bangkok, stoking fears of another bloody “red-yellow divide”.

Police detained more than 100 protesters and fired tear gas canisters to disperse an estimated 20,000 people after the crowd tried to breach security barricades near parliament buildings on Saturday ahead of the three-day censure debate followed by a no-confidence vote.

“The prime minister has failed to govern this country as promised. She allows corruption,” Democrat Party opposition MP Jurin Laksanavisit said at the start of the debate.

“She also allows outside people to influence her and control her administration,” he added, accusing Ms. Yingluck of being a “puppet” of her older brother, ousted former PM, Thaksin Shinawatra.

But the motions appear to have little chance of being passed by a legislature dominated by Ms. Yingluck’s ruling coalition party, which controls about three-fifths of the seats in the lower house, AFP reports.

Ms. Yingluck told reporters she was “confident” her government could defend itself. This also comes after Ms. Yingluck reshuffled her cabinet to brush off accusations that she is merely serving as a “caretaker” for her older brother.

Meanwhile, political analysts highlighted the relative stability and the strong economic recovery from last year’s devastating floods under Ms. Yingluck.