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Thai PM Under Mounting Pressure, Dissolves Parliament


Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has dissolved parliament, making way for elections just one year after his landslide re-election. The poll has been set for April 2.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra made the announcement Friday after meeting with Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Mr. Thaksin indicated in a public appearance earlier that elections might be imminent.

"You have seen me for five years," he said. "If you want to continue using me, vote for me, and I will continue working."

The elections are not likely to satisfy an opposition coalition that has been staging mass rallies calling for the prime minister's resignation on the grounds of corruption and abuse of power.

The calls have intensified since a tax-free sale of shares in a company founded by the prime minister netted his family nearly $2 billion.

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