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Thai protesters set Monday as deadline to topple government

Bangkok, Dec 7 (): The leader of anti-government protests that have agitated the Thai capital admitted Friday that he did not have the numbers to overthrow the prime minister, and called for more followers to turn out for a massive Monday rally that he promised would be the final showdown with authorities.

Suthep Thaugsuban, the prominent Thai opposition leader said after more than a month of rolling rallies with declining turnout, he has set Monday, December 9, as a deadline to defeat the government to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and vowed to surrender to authorities if the action fails.

The protest leader, a former deputy prime minister in a government led by the pro-establishment Democrat Party, told a rally the people had to take back power from what he called the unlawful “Thaksin regime”.

The opposition leader indicated he might accept defeat unless enough people protest on Monday. In a speech, he told his supporters if the people did not come out, he would surrender to go to jail and he would not fight anymore. ”Live or die, lose or win – we will know on Monday December 9.”

He called on people to leave their houses or offices and join the demonstrations to show their support to pull up the ‘Thaksin Regime’ as well as what he assumed was the corrupt and illegitimate government of Yingluck Shinawatra.

Yingluck ‘s office said she had cancelled two scheduled trips overseas next week to Russia and to the opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar to monitor the unrest, which has left five people dead and more than 200 injured in Bangkok. The Prime Minister could stay in Thailand and monitor the political situation.

In the meantime, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Erawan emergency medical service centre has informed that three people were injured in two clashes near the anti-government demonstration site near the Finance Ministry late last night.