STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Thailand standoff

CNC
Added On December 26, 2013

Thailand's political crisis continues to grip the country... as clashes erupted between police and demonstrators again on Wednesday.
 
In an attempt to cope with the turmoil, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's cabinet has extended a special security law for two more months.
 
The prime minister also proposed a "national reform council" to seek a way out of the standoff.
 
On Wednesday, a group of protesters clashed with police personnel guarding a building at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok.
 
The protesters had attempted to stop candidates signing up for next year's elections by blocking entrances to the stadium, which serves as a registration venue.
 
Demonstrators tried to force their way into the building, triggering scuffles with police. 
 
One protester was injured in the clash.
 
On the same day, the Thai government decided to extend the enforcement of the Internal Security Act to March 1, 2014, in Bangkok and three adjacent provinces.
 
Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra also proposed setting up a "national reform council," after snap elections she called for February 2, which will recommend constitutional amendments and reforms.
 
SOUNDBITE(THAI): YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, Thai Prime Minister
"It is now time to develop a mechanism to push forward and mobilize the national reform. That is why I suggest forming the national reform council. To all future council members, I'd like to make it clear that the council is not a governmental institution. If all parties agree, the council will report directly to the prime minister's office. When the cabinet approve it, the reform process will start. The council will pick 499 members from 2,000 elite candidates from all walks of life."
 
But the plan was immediately rejected by protest leaders, who seek to topple Yingluck's government and want reforms before the elections.
 
A spokesman for the protestors says the council as proposed would still be under the influence of the incumbent premier.
 
The ongoing protests, the worst ever since 2010, have left five people dead and more than 200 wounded.