Protest rally paralyses Bangkok

02:15, Dec 23 2013
Bangkok
BANGKOK MARCH: An anti-government protester blows a whistle and holds a placard in a rally at a major business district.

Tens of thousands of protesters are marching through central Bangkok, paralysing traffic and facing off with police outside the prime minister's residence in their latest mass rally against Thailand's government.

The crowds of protesters split into more than a dozen groups, including one outside Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's home. Yingluck was not inside at the time.

The rally comes a day after Thailand's main opposition Democrat Party announced it would boycott general elections called for February 2, a move that appeared to have emboldened the protest movement after rallies that indicated its support was dwindling.

The Democrats' position reflects the stand taken by the protesters, who are demanding that Yingluck step down ahead of the elections. Yingluck called the polls in an effort to defuse the political crisis.

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AP