Supporters of ousted Thai PM rally in show of force as opposition demands unelected premier

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Associated Press

Posted on May 10, 2014 at 4:10 AM

Updated Saturday, May 10 at 5:03 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Supporters of Thailand's embattled government are streaming into western for a show of force following the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (SHIN'-uh-wah).

The gathering of the pro-government movement comes a day after anti-government protesters — who have been campaigning for six months to remove Yingluck from office — ramped up their efforts by laying siege to television stations, surrounding state offices, and demanding lawmakers help them install a non-elected prime minister by Monday.

The head of the pro-government Red Shirts says, "as long as the country's democracy is not safe, we will be here."

Yingluck was forced from power by the Constitutional Court. The ruling emboldened anti-government protesters, and they called for a "final push" Friday to oust the entire Cabinet and set up an unelected "people's council" they say would implement still-undefined reforms to combat corruption and fight money politics. They oppose polls tentatively scheduled for July, which the current ruling party would likely win.

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APPHOTO XVT109: An anti-government protester waves a Thai national flag during a rally in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 9, 2014. Thailand's anti-graft commission indicted ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday on charges of dereliction of duty in overseeing a widely criticized rice subsidy program, a day after a court forced her from office. Yingluck was accused of allowing the rice program, a flagship policy of her administration, to proceed despite advice that it was potentially wasteful and prone to corruption. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (9 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO XVT109 (05/09/14)££

APPHOTO XVT107: Anti-government protesters wave Thai national flags during a rally in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, May 9, 2014. Thailand's anti-graft commission indicted ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday on charges of dereliction of duty in overseeing a widely criticized rice subsidy program, a day after a court forced her from office. Yingluck was accused of allowing the rice program, a flagship policy of her administration, to proceed despite advice that it was potentially wasteful and prone to corruption. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) (9 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO XVT107 (05/09/14)££

APPHOTO AW109: An anti-government protester waves national flag after entering the National Broadcasting of Thailand (NBT) building during a rally Friday, May 9, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai police fired tear gas and water cannons Friday to push back hundreds of protesters trying to force their way into a government compound, the latest indication that ousting the premier will not solve the country's tense political crisis. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) (9 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO AW109 (05/09/14)££

APPHOTO AW102: An anti-government protester carries a national flag and walks past line of riot police officers and soldiers guarding the National Broadcasting of Thailand (NBT) building after protesters entering the compound during a rally Friday, May 9, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. Thai police fired tear gas and water cannons Friday to push back hundreds of protesters trying to force their way into a government compound, the latest indication that ousting the premier will not solve the country's tense political crisis. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) (9 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO AW102 (05/09/14)££

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