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Protests

Thai opposition says it will resign from parliament

Thailand's main opposition party has announced its MPs will all resign from parliament. The move comes after weeks of demonstrations against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

A spokesman for the opposition Democratic Party said its MPs would formally step down "as soon as possible," according to the AFP news agency.

The spokesman, Chavanond Intarakomalyasut, told AP news agency that his party could no longer work in the parliament because the assembly was "no longer accepted by the people."

The minority Democrats are affiliated with anti-government protesters, who have been staging massive demonstrations over the past few weeks. At least five people have been killed and at least 289 injured since the protests began. Bangkok is bracing for another major rally on Monday.

Protests have been suspended temporarily since Wednesday for the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who enjoys nearly religious status in Thailand.

Protesters want to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, claiming she is a mere puppet of her billionaire brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted as PM seven years ago by royalist generals and has since lived in exile.

The recent protests were triggered by a proposed amnesty bill, since dropped, which critics feared could have paved the way for Thaksin's return.

Yingluck on Sunday renewed her offer to hold elections if protesters agreed to accept the results. So far, protest leaders have said they will not be satisfied with new elections, instead calling for an unelected "People's Council."

tj/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)