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Thai opposition announces plan to shut down Bangkok

Jan. 7, 2014 at 6:29 PM

BANGKOK, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Opponents of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Tuesday called for a massive protest next week aimed at shutting down Bangkok.

The government responded by saying emergency measures can be implemented quickly if they are needed next Monday, the Bangkok Post reported.

"Whether or not the emergency decree is implemented depends on the situation at hand," Lt. Gen. Paradorn Pattanatabut said. "If there is terrorism, threat to life, damage to private or state property, the prime minister will invoke it immediately."

Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar said the United Front for Democracy and Against Dictatorship, which supports the prime minister and her exiled brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, would hold counter-protests outside Bangkok.

Nattawut said the protests would not be held in the capital to avoid clashes between the government's supporters, popularly known as the red shirts, and its opponents.

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