Thai parties to discuss elections anew

April 23, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

BANGKOK:  Thailand’s quarrelling political parties are to meet yesterday to discuss a roadmap to fresh elections following months of deadly street protests aimed at toppling Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The kingdom has been without a fully functioning government or parliament since December, and an election held in February was declared invalid after opposition demonstrators disrupted voting.

The Southeast Asian nation has been shaken by months of political violence that has left 25 people dead and hundreds wounded, including many protesters, in grenade attacks and shootings. Election officials called a meeting yesterday to discuss a new election date with political rivals including the main opposition Democrat Party, which boycotted the last round of voting.

But on the eve of the meeting, Yingluck’s Puea Thai Party decried a “conspiracy” by her opponents to thwart new polls.

Activist starts hunger strike

TAIPEI:  Former Taiwanese opposition leader and anti-nuclear activist Lin Yi-hsiung yesterday launched an indefinite hunger strike in protest at a nearly completed nuclear facility, while some of his supporters clashed with police.

“It’s very meaningful to be doing something good for Taiwan -- I feel very calm,” Lin told a crowd of reporters and supporters before he began the hunger strike.

He added he had been forced into the situation because the authorities had ignored public opinion on nuclear power. He said the majority of people in Taiwan were against a fourth nuclear power plant. 

Lin, who led the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from 1998-2000, has devoted himself to battling the island’s nuclear power policy in the past two decades.

Outside parliament, dozens of protesters briefly clashed with the police as they attempted to surround the building to show support for Lin.       Agencies