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Sunday, March 05, 2006

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developments in the region and abroad
Opposition rejects Thai PM's compromise offers
3/5/2006
 

          BANGKOK, Mar 4 (AP): Thailand's opposition parties rejected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's compromise offers and pressed forward Saturday with a boycott of snap elections the embattled Thai leader has called to defuse a political crisis.
Accusing the tycoon-turned-politician of corruption and abuse of power, pro-democracy groups prepared for a mass rally Sunday aimed at keeping up pressure for Thaksin to resign. They have vowed militant action if he doesn't step down.
Thaksin extended an olive branch Friday night at a campaign rally of his Thai Rak Thai party ahead of April 2 national elections.
Speaking to a cheering crowd of what appeared to be well over 100,000 supporters, he offered to resign if his party fails to secure more than half the votes in the poll.
If he is re-elected, he said he will hold a national referendum on constitutional reforms within 15 months and then call fresh elections.
"I play by rules someone else wrote, so come join the election with me," he said, maintaining that he was following democratic procedures.
But the leading opposition parties reaffirmed that they would not take part.

Imran Khan under house arrest

ISLAMABAD, Mar 4 (AP): Pakistani police detained Imran Khan, the leader of a small opposition party, at his Islamabad home ahead of a planned protest Saturday against the U.S. president's visit, his spokesman said.
Khan, a former Pakistan cricket captain, was leaving a friend's home after dinner at around 1 a.m. (2000 GMT Friday) when he was served with a detention order, said Akbar S. Babar, a spokesman for Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Movement for Justice party.
Khan was driven in a convoy of four police vehicles to his home on the banks of a lake near the Pakistani capital, he said.
An official at the local police station said at least 10 police were posted outside Khan's home but he could not confirm his house arrest. The official declined to be named as he wasn't authorised to speak to media.

 

 
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