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Thai Minister Quits After Massive Demonstration

  • VOA News

A second minister belonging to a faction of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's ruling party has resigned amid growing calls in Thailand for Mr. Thaksin to step down.

However, analysts say the resignation of the two minor members from a small faction of the Thai Rak Thai (Thais Love Thais) Party is unlikely to affect Mr. Thaksin's popularity in the countryside.

Forty-thousand protesters demonstrated through the night in Bangkok, calling for Mr. Thaksin to step down. The rally ended early Sunday morning, but protest organizer Sondhi Limthongkul, a former advisor of the Prime Minister, vowed to conduct further demonstrations in the future.

Many demonstrators said they were angry the prime minister's family was able to legally sell, tax-free, nearly two-billion-dollars' worth of stock in the telecommunications firm he founded.

Mr. Thaksin has defend the sale and insists he would step down only if the Thailand's king asked for his resignation.
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