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Thailand's PM dissolves government

Thaksin Shinawatra expected to call early elections

From Narunart Prapanya
CNN

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BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Thailand's prime minister has asked the king to dissolve Parliament, a move that would require new elections to be held within two months.

Thaksin Shinawatra, a billionaire businessman, told reporters Friday of his recommendation after meeting with King Bhumibol Aduyadel, a high-ranking government source told CNN.

Thaksin's own role in the government has been troubled in recent months.

Media-tycoon Sondhi Limthongkul has led a series of massive demonstrations intended to pressure Thaksin to leave office, charging him with political and business conflicts of interest.

One such alleged conflict concerned the January 23 sale of the Thaksin's telecommunications company, Shin Corp., to a Singapore investment firm for $1.9 billion and his alleged failure to pay income taxes.

Thaksin, who won a lopsided victory last year, has insisted he would not resign, and has said that the only person who has the authority to ask him to step aside is the king.

Another rally is to be held Sunday in front of the Grand Palace.

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