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Thais vote for Senate ahead of crucial deadline for PM

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 - 01:21

March 30 - Thai voters go to poll to fill half of the country's 150 seats in the Senate that could prove vital to the attempts to remove Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from her post. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Voters head to the polls in Thailand for half of the country's 150-seat Senate in a key test for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's troubled government. Anti-government protesters are in their fifth month of a campaign to force Yingluck out. They're hoping to set in motion political and electoral reforms before a new general election takes place. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) VOTER CHERDCHAI YANYONGKUL SAYING: "We need an election to see which way the people are giving their support." The vote comes a day before the prime minister is due to defend herself against negligence charges over a disastrous rice subsidy scheme. (SOUNDBITE) (Thai) THAI CARE-TAKER PRIME MINISTER YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA SAYING: "I hope to get answer from the National Anti-corruption Commission to find out if we are receiving the same justice and fairness as those politicians who have been charged before. When we had cases against oppositions we urged them to speed up process. But when there is a charge against me, it take only 15 days to process the charge." Thailand remains locked in a seemingly intractable political stalemate. The conflict broadly pits the Bangkok-based middle class and royalist establishment against the mostly poorer, rural supporters of the Shinawatra political family.

Thais vote for Senate ahead of crucial deadline for PM

Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 - 01:21

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